Effects of Audio Cueing on Teacher Praise and Subsequent Effects on Children's Rule Violations in a Day Care
Berty, Peter Tamas
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SubjectDay care centers--Teachers--Behavior; Day care centers--Students--Behavior; Preschool children--Behavior; Reinforcement (Psychology)--Social aspects--Effectiveness
The problems. The experimental problems were to demonstrate the effectiveness of an audio cueing procedure in manipulating teacher praise and to assess any subsequent changes in students' violations of classroom rules in a day care center. Procedure. Three teachers, one in each of three daily free play periods, and nine children were observed using an interval recording technique. The cues were short duration audio-tape recorded tones presented automatically. Teachers were instructed to praise a child's good behavior at least after every cue. Findings. Each teacher's percentage of 20 second intervals in which praise was recorded was increased over her respective baseline. Following low cueing rates, each teacher's praise increased when high cueing rates were presented and decreased when low rates were reintroduced. Spearman's rho correlations of praise levels and median rule violations yielded r = -.116, r = -.002, and r = -.073 in the three periods. Conclusions. The cueing procedure was an efficient and effective tool in manipulating the teachers' levels of praise. Praise and rule violations were not systematically related possibly because (as informal observation indicated) other forms of teacher attention followed both appropriate and inappropriate student behaviors. Recommendations. Future studies should assess the effect of teacher praise on the student behaviors which are praised.