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Document Type

Article

First Page

63

Abstract

This case study investigated preservice teachers’ perceptions of their use of “backdoor praise” (BDP)—praise that is simultaneously delayed, indirect, and embedded in teacher comments—during their final internship. Three participants representing elementary, middle, and high schools, were observed to collect baseline data on their natural use of BDP. The researcher then explained BDP and conducted two more observations of each preservice teacher and their use of BDP. Twenty-eight incidents involving 21 students were recorded; 16 students maintained long-term on-task behavior ranging from three minutes to nearly 60 minutes post-BDP. The preservice teachers were interviewed after each observation, and they all reported positive student and whole-class reactions to BDP; in addition, the student teachers reported that their use of positive comments increased while their use of negative comments and reprimands decreased. These results suggest that direct instruction in BDP helped the preservice teachers to become more aware of their own praise talk.

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