Many students have received ‘praise’ from teachers and administration for their positive behavior due to the Pride program that was introduced this year.
The program is based on the values of PRIDE, which stands for Personal responsibility, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Excellence. A large part of it is also handing out Wings of Praise to students for exemplifying good behavior.
Giving out these rewards promotes and recognizes positive behavior rather than simply punishing negative behavior. This makes it more likely to be effective, as it has been shown that positive reinforcement improves behavior more than punishment.
In fact, a 2001 study at Johns Hopkins University found that positive reinforcement for good behavior resulted in a decrease in undesirable behavior and an increase in more acceptable behavior.
This effectiveness has been seen in the reduced need for disciplinary action against students. Compared to last school year, there were 78 fewer detentions, 61 fewer suspensions and 27 fewer Saturday detentions this year.
Additionally, administrators have stated that they have seen more ownership and positivity within the student body since the program’s inception.
The program also successfully recognizes students on all academic levels because any student has the potential to receive a Wing of Praise. This makes the program fairer, as it allows students who are not particularly strong academically to be recognized when they otherwise might be overlooked.
While there are certainly positive impacts of having a positive reinforcement system such as Wings of Praise, it will not prevent negative behavior entirely.
There are many students that simply do not care about the recognition or the potential to receive a reward. As a result, these students would be unlikely to develop more positive behavior in reaction to the program.
However, the consequences that are already in place for negative behavior sufficiently prevent bad behavior for the majority of students. Also, by providing incentives for good behavior, the need for these consequences is somewhat lessened.
Another issue that may arise with the program is funding. Currently, the program is funded by sponsors, but those sponsorships may not be offered every year, and the school could potentially be left without enough money to purchase prizes.
Those who coordinate the sponsorships would have to ensure that this does not occur by working to make sure that there is a consistent amount of sponsors for the program.
Overall, the PRIDE program has proven itself to be effective in improving student behavior and hopefully will continue to do so in the future.