31 October 2014
Richard Garner reports for The Independent on new Sutton Trust research on teaching practice.
Teachers who lavish praise on pupils are doing them a disservice, according to a study published today.
It can be counter-productive and is more likely to lead to poorly performing pupils becoming complacent, rather than encouraging them to do better in class, says the report from researchers at Durham University. In fact, the report adds, getting angry with children can act as more of a spur to improve their performance.
“For low-attaining pupils, praise … meant to be encouraging and protective can actually convey a message of low expectations,” it says. “The evidence shows children whose failure generates sympathy are more likely to attribute it to a lack of ability than those who are presented with anger.”
The finding comes in a report, What Makes Great Teaching, commissioned by the Sutton Trust education charity. It recommends the best – and outlines the worst – teaching methods for securing improvements from pupils.
Read the full report here.