Date of Award

Summer 6-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Janet L Deck

Second Advisor

Dr. James Anderson

Third Advisor

Patrick R Malone


“Backdoor praise” (BDP) is defined as praise that is simultaneously delayed, indirect, and embedded in teacher comments. This case study investigated preservice teachers’ perceptions of their use of BDP as a strategy for getting and keeping students on task. Three participants, representing elementary, middle, and high school, were observed to collect baseline data on their natural use of BDP. The preservice teachers were then informed of what BDP is and how to use it with students, and they were observed twice more using BDP. Overall, 28 incidents of BDP use involving 21 students were recorded, and 16 of the students maintained long-term on-task behavior post-BDP. The preservice teachers all reported positive effects, including a greater focus on “finding the good” in their students and a decrease in their use of negative comments and reprimands. A tally sheet of BDP per student and individual and focus group interview transcripts are included in the appendices.