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') (Tingstrom et al., 226) in correspondence with the example provided by the researchers responsible for this evaluation, it may be deduced that such method of positive reinforcement implementation is best suited to a younger educational context such as grammar school. It may only be considered appropriate to attach the positive consequences of individual efforts with the capabilities of an entire class in settings where future prospects such as class rank and college admissions have not yet entered into the discourse over performance motivators.
Tingstrom et al. also identify the independent group-oriented contingencies, which "involve consequences, and criteria for all group members, but access to reinforcement for each group member is based on each member's performance (e.g., 'whoever makes a 90% or higher on the end chapter math test will be able to pick a prize from the treasure chest.' (Tingstrom et al., 226) in many ways, this has proved the most practical form of positive reinforcement throughout the course of one's education. By rewarding positive individual performances, we tend to instill the impression that proficiency and excellence will generally be treated with positive personal outcomes. A relevant reality within the context of academia and the professional world alike, this method of positive reinforcement is executed according to the example provided by Tingstrom et al. In the grammar school setting. Taking on forms such as honors societies, scholarship moneys and access to reputable institutions of higher-learning in later educational settings, the independent attachment of reward to performance suggests itself as a sensible employment of positive reinforcement.
Interestingly, a study by Effie MacLellan offers some insight into the potential drawbacks inherent in relying too heavily upon praise and positive reinforcement as means to promoting student interest in learning. The author warns that implementing such a rewards system in lieu of applying penalties for poor performance may promote what she refers to as 'learned helplessness.' (MacLellan, 196) by coming to depend upon such extrinsic positive reinforcement for the germination of personal motivation, a student may come to fear failure, to depend on others for indices of his success and to build essentially unrealistic expectations of perfection for himself. In this regard, it may be suggestible that any sensible model for applying positive reinforcement as a means for improving student performance attempt to balance this system with supplemental means to enabling the emergence of individual, intrinsic motivations for the pursuit of success. Herein lay the challenge at the crux of public education, where we are engaged in an ongoing effort to improve our capacity to integrate individual and institutional qualities in the classroom setting. The primary risk in utilizing such methods of demonstration of a positive assessment is that these tend to conflate reward with assessment.
Thus, the consequence of this for the student is far greater even than the 'learned helplessness' aforementioned. In fact, the educational system as a whole is threatened by the reliance upon assessment that is applied frequently and that implies extrinsic rewards are the sum accomplishment of educational success. Herein, we can see the potential for the utmost of negative impacts upon the student through the improper application of a positive reinforcement strategy, with the end result being the deflation of a necessary emphasis on learning aptitude and learning strategy refinement. By using such peripheral and misdirected emphases to provide students with assessments that rightfully might be used to appropriate the methods of learning favored in future academic pursuits, educational institutions will tend to compromise, or even to obscure, the actual scholastic needs of students. Thus, the 'helplessness' is fundamentally imposed upon students, who are offered increasingly less insight into specific performance indicators, even as the application of assessment techniques at frequent intervals has become an increasingly favored means to constructing curriculum goals.
This reveals yet another important aspect of assessment which supplements the value of frequency. The structuring of an assessment program which offers insights frequently and in a form that employs the objective observation of the teacher is important if a student is to gain an understanding of strengths and weaknesses, as well as ways to cultivate the former and overcome the latter. Clearly, the simplicity and relatively static nature of letter-grading or numerical performance evaluators is not sufficient to demonstrate to a student that there are particular points of need in his learning agenda. Therefore, an increased frequency of evaluation should be considered in light of several fundamental changes in the very approach taken to framing the educational experience. Instructors employing a formative assessment approach distinguished by a need for frequency must design evaluation matrices "that require human judgment and that measure more complex, integrated, and strategic objectives." (Bunderson, 82) This is to say that marking one's performance percentages and consequently assigning a letter grade to this percentage fails considerably to address any distinct or individual needs in an educational context, and simply have the external impact of rendering a student easier to categorize rather than evaluate. Thus, frequently or infrequently, the outlook for students who are primarily subjected only to quantitative assessment techniques is likely to be defined by a lowered expected of improved learning aptitude, supplanted instead by a competitive sense of dependency upon the evaluative standards that are the end, but not the means, of an assessment.
Educational theory is a broad, diverse and highly debated discipline. It is rendered thus by an emergent educational perspective which argues that both learning and motivation are achieved by a wide array of means rather than by any single and preferred means. The justification for this perspective is in the diversity of learning needs and abilities represented in students, who tend to be moved to enthusiasm by an infinite array of subject matters and teaching methods. Therefore, in the discussion held here, learning and motivation will be evaluated according to the idea that instruction must encourage the embrace of individual learning strategies, independent learning and the development of critical thinking skills.
At the core of the discussion on the Technical and Further Education (TAFE) program at the Alpha college will is the evolving idea that there is an ever more pressing need for education to find ways to equip students with the tools to contend with the diverse and modern barrage of information. Accordingly, "among the strategies that learners need to acquire and use are those that involve going beyond the information given and utilizing and building their higher-order thinking skills, also known as critical and creative thinking skills." (Jacobs, 1) These skills, emphasized as priorities above the form and functionality principles distilled in the traditional mainstream educational discourse, will constitute such ultimate educational goals as the capacity to intuit knowledge and make discernable decisions in contexts such as morality and ideological disposition.
This progressive paradigm shift is represented by an educational strategy which diverts from strict academic prerogatives and instead approaches its subjects with an appreciation for the individuality of the critical thinking processes. This is a sentiment which underscores a very real and important inflection point in the way that we conceive and approach education, demonstrating a break from formerly indisputable notions regarding the singularity of instructional approaches, of curricular frameworks and in the development of a theoretically sound learning environment. (Emerson, 1)
From a broad perspective concerning the subject of pedagogy, there is a theoretical framework for education represented in this discussion which suggests a perpetually more extensive and nuanced discourse on the job description of the teacher. The accessibility of information and the diversity of opportunities to each individual learner is producing an educational demand to cultivate a personalized understanding in each student of the ways that his abilities and interests allow him to learn. This is to indicate that the structural conceits of mainstream educational theories are intended to be subjected to infinite explorations. As a 1997 study by Evan Eisner contends, "these explorations are rooted in an expanding conception of the nature of knowledge and the relationship between what one knows and how it is represented." (Eisner, 4) Just as conventional modes of instruction are eschewed in such research, so too are conventional impressions of that which constitutes a right answer, a demonstration of intellect or even a 'good' student. The more elastic conception of knowledge and the infinitely diverse representation of knowledge are factored here into the framework for an educational mode that is concordantly flexible.
Under this philosophical impetus, students are encouraged to seek out this emotional core in the interests of drawing out personal motives for acquiring enthusiasm for the learning process. This promotes a distinct path in education, that among other aspects, is distinguished by the unique relationship fostered between the teacher and the student.
2007 study by Folkesson et al., which focuses on young learners under the control pretenses…[continue]
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