Teachers' praise and disapproval responses as a function of audio-cueing

Downton, Alanna Marie Badcock (1980) Teachers' praise and disapproval responses as a function of audio-cueing. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

This investigation examined three aspects of the verbal behavior of teachers in a classroom setting: (a) the relationship between teachers’ natural rates of praise and disapproval, (b) the efficacy of audio-cueing as a method of training teachers to increase their praise rates, and (c) the effect of experimentally manipulated rates of praise on teachers’ natural rates of disapproval. - Twenty-two elementary school teachers were randomly assigned to one of two experimental groups. Both groups participated simultaneously during both an initial baseline period and a treatment period in which teachers were asked to praise someone upon hearing a randomly-scheduled auditory cue. Between the initial baseline and the treatment period, one group participated in a second baseline period during which the treatment apparatus, a randomly-scheduled tone, was presented without any explanation to the teachers. For convenience this group was called “double-baseline to distinguish it from the single-baseline group which participated during only the initial baseline period. The second baseline period was included to measure the effect of the treatment apparatus used in isolation. Throughout the study, measures of the teachers’ praise and disapproval responses were recorded by observers. The teachers did not know that their disapproval responses were being recorded, and only during the treatment did they know their praise responses were being recorded. -- The results of the investigation were as follows: First, both groups emitted equivalent numbers of praise and disapproval responses during both the initial baseline and treatment periods. This result supports the efficacy of the randomization procedure. Second, during the initial baseline, teachers emitted significantly higher numbers of disapproval responses than praise responses. This result was in accord with the results of previous research on this topic. Third, for double-baseline teachers, there was no significant difference in the number of praise responses emitted during the first and second baseline periods. This result suggests that the unexplained occurrences of the tone did not alter the teachers’ praise rates. Fourth, during the second baseline, double-baseline teachers emitted significantly fewer disapproval responses than they did during the initial baseline. This unexpected result suggests that either the unexplained occurrences of the tone had a significant effect upon teachers’ expressions of disapproval, or other significant but unidentified sources of variance are operating during the second baseline period. Fifth, during treatment, the number of teachers' praise responses was significantly higher than that for either the initial or second baseline periods. This result supports previous research on the efficacy of audio-cueing as a technique for training teachers to increase their praise rates. Sixth, during treatment, teachers emitted significantly lower numbers of disapproval responses than during both the initial and second baseline periods. This result indicates that as teachers' praise rates increase in response to auditory cues, their natural rates of disapproval decrease. -- In general, the results suggest that an inverse relationship exists between manipulated rates of teacher praise and subsequent rates of disapproval; however, this suggestion is qualified by an unexplained source of variance which precipitated a significant decline in teachers' disapproval from the initial to the second baseline. Additional research is necessary to identify the nature of the relationship between praise and disapproval. If, as the present investigation suggests, the relationship is an inverse one, it implies that an uncontrolled confounding variable may have been operating in previous studies and programs concerned with the manipulation of teacher praise and its effect upon student behavior.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4344
Item ID: 4344
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 41-43
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1980
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Interaction analysis in education

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