Is Praise Undermining Student Motivation Essay

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In the article, “Is Praise Undermining Student Motivation?”, John Orlando presents a criticism of one’s tendency to use praise as a tool to encourage students to improve. Orlando assesses that using praise distracts students as they become more preoccupied with achieving higher grades rather than actually learning. He further states that while praise focuses on the end product, positive feedback centers around the process, which is the most important step to getting to the end product. When students are praised for their intelligence they are less likely to seek challenges as praise has become part of their self-esteem. Statements such as these can easily be backed up with evidence, but it’s only addressing one issue. Narrowing the problem …show more content…
It’s hard to let students learn from their failures when failing could possibly mean less funding. Without funding a school would be left in a situation where resources are thinly stretched which would not be conducive for a learning environment. Focusing on instilling knowledge is preferable, however, students are under pressure from teachers and administrators to attain high scores. Thus, this disconnect between what teachers are telling students about acquiring knowledge and emphasizing high scores is confusing for students. Orlando’s assessment would be best integrated by instructors if the school system as a whole shifted focus from grade performance to knowledge acquisition. Until it is, his suggested reforms would be impractical. By eliminating the idea of competitive national scores, Orlando’s methods of using a positive-negative feedback model would inevitably lead to higher scores as the knowledge would be absorbed with higher comprehension. However, these higher scores may increase more slowly than a grade based model where a student has learned to give answers that are

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