It is integral to reinforce both positive and negative behavior in order to encourage one over the other. In a managed classroom, the expected consequences are preceded by rules and procedures. A basic diagram looks like this:
According to Robert Marzano, consequences are the other side of rules and procedures and both positive and negative adherence needs to be recognized routinely and frequently. Recognition can be as simple as non-verbal cues- a smile or frown, thumbs up or thumbs down, or as tangible as a prize or detention. To be effective the consequences need to be based on predetermined merit or fault and have consistency in application. For instance, Sara is a straight “A” student and turns her homework in on time which is positively reinforced with “Sara, great job for completing your assignment on time.” Conversely, Johnny never does his homework without letters home to his parents yet comes to class prepared one day. He still receives the positive reinforcement of great job versus undermining his actions with “Well, one time doesn’t make up for all the past demerits.”
As we have discussed in our video conferences, students remember the actions/inactions of a teacher and are quick to assess what they feel is unfair. While Sara knows she always turns in her homework, she still desires her hard work acknowledged and would feel disregarded if Johnny’s one assignment made the teacher appear more proud. Simultaneously, if one student is permitted to break rules and then someone is held accountable there will be discord over the appearance of favoritism.
In the diagram above, I have referenced the adherence and lack of adherence of rules and procedures as explored in The Art and Science of Teaching. Consistency is not only beneficial for the student, but also the teacher as there is a map for handling behavior which reduces spending extra time or consideration on how to handle simple matters. For behavior that is more consequential and risks safety, or after repeated offenses, punishment can be more individually based because it will involve administration or parent conferences and extends beyond in-class behavior management.
As evidenced in the research of this module, I feel that the token economy is the best method for maintaining student behavior because it easily branch both positive and negative consequences. I like best a method that rewards the individual student on a class reward level. Meaning, as each student fails or excels a point is given or taken away from a total goal in which the reward is for the whole class. The class can predetermine if they want a pizza party or ice cream social etc. and then once a cumulative level is reached they will have achieved the goal. I feel that the collaborative reward system best builds teamwork and a competitive nature that is not exclusionary.
Marzano, Robert. The Art and Science of Teaching. 2007. Retrieved from: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/platform-user-content/prod-copy/get_help_resources/activity_resources/module4/The_Art_and_Science_of_Teaching.pdf