How can Teachers Reinforce Students’ Effort Effectively?

Check Out the New Blog rbip_l2_re_effort_and_prov_recogThe weighing scale is a very important part of a weight loss program. It shows tangible results of the hours of hard work and determination the person on the program has put in so effort is recognized. This gives the person the much needed push to go on. Have you ever wondered how many people would continue with their work out program if they had no way of seeing any improvement?
Like most people, students are dependent on different levels of the effort and achievement equation for the motivation to work hard. When an effort is recognized and rewarded, the outcomes are generally much higher.

Research proves that reinforcing effort and providing recognition are effective in improving student achievement and learning. This is seen to be most effective when recognition is provided on achievement of a certain standard. A student needs to be able to connect the effort with achievement is their mind. Struggling students will always be in fear of studies till they are aware of the effects of their efforts. This is where the teacher can be of help. It is essential for the teacher to be sensitive to the student’s current abilities and struggle areas while deciding when recognition is most appropriate. Student motivation depends a lot on how a teacher deals with both recognition and reward of effort.

Dr. Dweck, a psychologist who has been researching this field, has concluded that praising students for their intelligence was detrimental to developing students as learners because the students ended up feeling burdened to perform. However, when the effort a student made was recognized and praised, this changed their mindset toward learning and motivated them to work harder.

Recognizing and rewarding effort can be done with praise, symbolic or actual rewards and any other means of appreciation. The key is to reward EFFORT so that each student, the ‘strugglers’ as well as those who are comfortable with the task, are motivated to learn.

For example: Give elementary students STARS on the ‘Effort Chart’ in the classroom for homework completion, work done in class, participation in classroom, etc. Display a student’s project in the classroom so that effort is recognized.

Sometimes, as a teacher, there may not be much you can find is worth praising in a student’s completed work. This might be because it may be an area of repeated struggle for the student. (For example: An ESL student who makes many errors in the writing assignment you gave.) It is important for you to consider the amount of effort the student put forth to complete the assignment. Praising the student for this while giving relevant and appropriate feedback for areas to work on would encourage the student to continue trying without giving up.

Rubrics are another excellent tool to recognize and reward effort, especially with students in higher classes. The students can be encouraged to assess themselves based on these rubrics for personal recognition of effort.

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