Summer 2018



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Maggie Struck/Trish Harvey

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Heather Davis

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Jennifer Stecker


The author’s research inquiry was: what is the impact of behavior descriptive praise and evaluative praise on intrinsic student motivation and behavior? The literature states that using evaluative praise can cause a ‘fixed mindset’ where a child is fearful of trying new tasks, and confused on the desired behavior of the educator. Moreover using behavior descriptive praise allows children to view effort and working hard a positive aspect of learning, while the educator is able to easily establish clear expectations for the students. This study took place over a four month period with two different third grade art classes. Through the course of this research the educator used only one type of praise with each of the classes and then documented through journaling, behavior tracking, and student surveys to examine the impact of these different types of praise had on the classes. The results of the study confirmed the literature reviews findings that using behavior descriptive praise set clear expectations for students, and created a study body who focused on the effort they put forth, instead of the outcome.

Research Methodology

Action Research


Art Education, Classroom Management, Community Building, Learning Styles, Motivation, Teachers/ Teaching, Behavior Descriptive Praise, Evaluative Praise

Included in

Education Commons