Experimental research on career-supportThe expansion of “supported ‘dekiru’” and “praise”
The relationship between “dekiru”and “praise”
The aim of this project is to expand individual people with disabilities’ “supported ‘dekiru,’” that is, to express and communicate the fact that “with a certain kind of support, person X can do Y.” As I mentioned in my previous update (Human Sciences Research Update, January, 2017), the key to “supported ‘dekiru,’” is whether those providing support can find the appropriate support such that “with this kind of support” he can do. This “support” is not only hints or measures taken before the behavior appear, but also includes “responses” given after the behavior appeared. “Praise” is one of these responses. At schools, my area of research, good results, such as increases in the rate of student participation or appropriate behavior, have been achieved through increasing the praise-giving behavior of teachers (Floress, Beschta, Meyer, & Reinke, 2017). In order to realize “supported ‘dekiru,’” an environment in which children receive praise must be secured.
An art is necessary for a praise behavior.
What are effective ways of giving praise? One is “giving praise while specifically describing the behavior for which it is given.” Praising with simple phrases such as “Great!” or “Good job!” is also quite effective. It has also been reported that specifically praising a child’s behavior (for example, “You gave a cheerful greeting in a nice loud voice, didn’t you?” or, “Working together with everyone you got things ready quicker than usual, didn’t you?”) is effective in increasing their appropriate behavior (see, for example, Chalk & Bizo, 2004 and Sutherland, Wehby, & Copeland, 2000).
What comes “after” an increase in appropriate behavior is also important. For example, say a boy helps out by picking up his dishes after eating. In response his mother says, “Thank you for cleaning up. It was a big help,” so he starts helping out like this from that point on. Moreover, even if his mother does not praise him, through a natural contingency this helpful behavior comes to be strengthened/maintained. If so, since the desired behavior is maintained by a natural contingency, can it be said that giving praise is not necessary? Even if it isn’t done every day, giving praise such as “You dried the dishes like a pro today” may maintain helpful behavior, and may furthermore give rise to new helpful behaviors. Continuing to actively praise children’s behavior like this can be thought of as one strategy for finding “supported ‘dekiru’”
How are we to increase “giving praise”?
The importance of giving praise has thus become evident. So are children in an environment of “always being praised” at actual schools? No, they aren’t. On the contrary, there is research showing that at actual schools there are more criticism and rebukes. We are continuing this research based around the questions of “how much praise are children actually receiving at school?” and “how can children improve their performance in an environment of ‘always being praised’?”
- Chalk, K., & Bizo, L. A. (2004) Specific praise improves on-task behavior and numeracy enjoyment: A study of year four pupils engaged in numeracy hour. Educational Psychology in Practice, 20, 335-351.
- Floress, M. T., Beschta, S. L., Meyer, K. L., & Reinke, W. M. (2017). Praise research trends and future directions: Characteristics and teacher training. Behavioral Disorders, 43, 227–243.
- Sutherland, K. S., Wehby, J. H., & Copeland, S. R. (2000). Effect of varying rates of behavior-specific praise on the on-task behavior of students with EBD. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 8, 2-8