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Verbal Praise

  • By: Laure Wiethoff
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

“Claire, you wrote an excellent paper about the life cycle of butterflies! I especially liked the way you vividly described the butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.” This is an example of verbal praise. Brophy (1981) defined verbal praise as statements communicating the value of student work or behavior by expressing approval.

Verbal praise is a component in an effective behavioral intervention. However, Brophy (1981) found that teachers infrequently praise good work and rarely praise good behavior. In fact, teachers praised good conduct once every 2 to 10 hours. First grade teachers only praised approximately 11% of their students’ correct responses during reading.

Jones and Jones (2001) and Brophy (1981) reported that boys are given more praise than girls. Several studies have found that teachers praise highachieving students ...

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