What great comments from teachers, headteachers and parents do to children?
We are living in an age where children need extra motivation when it comes to studying and this is especially true for mathematics. Teachers and headteachers are here to support the work and development of students’ interests, but they also need to evaluate their knowledge. Educational systems worldwide seem to exaggerate the importance of grades as the only measure of knowledge which can lead to negative feelings in students. Of course, grades and material incentives from parents are important and can significantly affect the motivation in children, but we should never underestimate the power of verbal communication.
Many studies have shown that compliments and praises have a positive impact on students’ motivation for learning and certain penalties reduce the commitment and effectiveness of learning. Unfortunately, lack of praise for children for something they’ve done well or even okay or badly at is often present in schools and homes. The school system is specific because it often overemphasises academic achievement of students or the cognitive aspect of education and ignores the social component of the effort that each student invests. If a student has poor performance especially in maths, they are often perceived as dumb or stupid, or looked upon with complete disapproval, which can lead to low self-esteem and negative self-image.
Therefore, it is crucial to emphasise the importance of praise and compliments for the commendable parts of however children have performed. We can always find the good in every performance. Children should always be encouraged in order to become aware of what they are good at and what they need to improve on. The sandwich approach is a fantastic method to achieve this. That is, start with the positive, followed by the things they need to improve on, and end feedback on a positive note. This sort of approach will help students to view themselves in a positive way. Of course, you cannot always praise them because students won’t know when they are doing something wrong and why it is bad. In other words, after the constructive criticism, should be some emphasis on something good.
Everyone, adult or young prefers good comments instead of bad ones – this is especially true for children. A student who is sincerely praised feels good and they tend to repeat the same behaviour for which they have received praise. Compliments and good comments are particularly important for students who have low self-esteem and as we all know, too small a number of students are confident about their maths knowledge. They will feel better and work better if you show that you appreciate their efforts. Teachers and headteachers should praise students whenever possible. We parents have a greater responsibility to, whether or not teachers do things the right way. Praise is completely free and takes nothing out of us, but delivers excellent results. This way, the student gets the security and confidence that they are able to do something right, and that positively affects their motivation and self-esteem.
Through praise that comes from teachers, headteachers and parents, a child also understands that their behaviour , attitude to maths and effort is being noticed.
What do you think?