It’s no secret that some students more easily do the “right” thing, while others need help to encourage better behavior. But all students benefit from a little positive reinforcement, regardless of where they are on compliance spectrum.
According to research, detentions, suspensions, and other methods of discipline that schools have been meting out for decades aren’t truly effective. At best, they only result in short-term changes to student behavior—and they might even lead to increases in poor behavior among some students over time.
But acknowledging and rewarding students when they do the right thing can influence how they act in very profound ways. In fact, studies show that giving students positive feedback reinforces good behavior, while helping them develop intrinsic motivation.
A key reason that positive reinforcement works so well is that it targets all students, and not just those who need encouragement. Educators typically focus most of their attention on the most behaviorally challenging students, while the majority simply go about their day without earning any special recognition.
With positive reinforcement, however, all students benefit. Students who continually behave as they should no longer feel taken for granted—and when students who need constant reminding see their classmates earning recognition, they want to receive these benefits as well. As they start experiencing success for themselves, this drives them to succeed even further.
This is the thinking behind Hero, an online platform from Hero K12 that enables users to track and reward positive student behaviors in addition to recording disciplinary infractions. When teachers or administrators notice that students are doing what they’re supposed to, they can assign “Hero points” that reward students for these good behaviors. Students can redeem these points for prizes, special privileges, and other incentives as established by the school community.
Using Hero, thousands of schools have seen measurable improvements in student behavior by implementing positive reinforcement—resulting in a more positive school culture.
After just a few months of using Hero, for example, Valley High School in Kentucky saw class tardiness fall by 25 percent, and inappropriate use of cell phones during class dropped by 32 percent. In addition, students were more engaged and prepared for class—and they were more polite and helpful to others.
“Schools that reward the good things students do each day establish greater trust among their students,” says Bryan Landaburu, the head of marketing for Hero K12. “They also see a reduction in the number of disruptive behaviors. Our experience is proof that rewarding students for positive behavior has a significant effect on school climate and culture. It helps reinforce the good choices that students make, which leads to dramatically better outcomes in both the short and long run.”
Find out more at herok12.com