Rules, Praise, And Ignoring: Elements Of Elementary Classroom Control Charles H. Madsen, Jr., Wesley C. Becker, and Don R. Thomas1 Florida State University And University of Illinois An attempt was made to vary systematically the behavior of two elementary school teachers to determine the effects on classroom behavior of Rules, Ignoring Inappropriate Behaviors, and showing Approval for Appropriate Behavior. Behaviors of two children in one class and one child in the other class were recorded by observers, as were samples of the teachers’ behavior. Following baseline recordings. Rules, Ignoring, and Approval conditions were introduced one at a time. In one class a reversal of conditions was carried out. The main conclusions were that: (a) Rules alone exerted little effect on classroom behavior, (b) Ignoring Inappropriate Behavior and showing Approval for Appropriate Behavior (in combination) were very effective in achieving better classroom behavior, and (c) showing Approval for Appropriate Behaviors is probably the key to effective classroom management.
1 Modern learning theory is slowly but surely increasing its potential for impact upon social problems. As problems in social development and interaction are more closely examined through the methods of experimental analysis, the importance of learning principles in everyday life becomes clearer. The potential contribution of these developments to childrearing and education appears to be especially significant. This report is a part of a series of studies aimed at demonstrating what the teacher can do to achieve a “happier,” more effective classroom through the systematic use of learning principles. The study grows out of a body of laboratory and field research demonstrating the importance of social reinforcers (smiles, praise, contact, nearness, attention) in establishing and maintaining effective behaviors in children. Extensive field studies in experimental nursery schools by Wolf, Bijou, Baer, and their students (e.g., Hart. Reynolds. Baer. Brawley, and Harris, 1968; Allen, Hart, Buell, Harris. and Wolf, 1965; Bijou and Baer, 1963) provided a background for the extension of their work by the present authors to special and typical elementary classrooms.
Ingeneral, we have found to date that teachers with various “personalities” and backgrounds can be trained systematically to control their own behavior in ways which will improve the behavior of the children they are teaching. (Becker, Madsen, Arnold, and Thomas, 1967). We have also found that teachers can “create” problem behaviors in the classroom by controlling the ways in which they respond to their pupils (Thomas, Becker, and Armstrong, 1968; Madsen, Becker, Thomas, Koser, and Plager, 1968). It is hoped that field studies of this sort will contribute to more effective teacher training. 2 The present study is a refinement of an earlier study of Becker et al. (1967), in which the behavior of two children in each of five classrooms was recorded and related to experimentally controlled changes in teacher behaviors. The teachers were instructed and guided to follow a program which involved making classroom rules explicit, ignoring disruptive behaviors unless someone was getting hurt, and praising appropriate classroom behaviors.
We wish to express our appreciation to the teachers involved, Mrs. Barbara L. Weed and Mrs. Margaret Larson, for their cooperation in a study which involved using and applying procedures which at times made their teaching duties very difficult. Gratitude is expressed to the Director of Elementary Education, Unit District #116, Urbana, Illinois, Dr. Lowell M. Johnson, and to the principals of Thomas Paine and Prairie Schools, Richard Sturgeon and Donald Hoiste. This study was supported by Grant HD-00881-05 from the National Institutes of Health. Reprints may be obtained from Wesley C. Becker, Bureau of Educational Research, 284 B Education Bldg., University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801.
Under this program, most of the severe problem children under study showed remarkable improvements in classroom behavior. However, that study lacked certain controls which the present study sought to correct. First, the teachers in the earlier study were in a seminar [begin page 140] on behavior theory and practice during baseline conditions. Some target children improved during baseline, apparently because some teachers were beginning to apply what they were learning even though they had been requested not to do so. Second, public relations and time considerations did not make it possible to introduce the components of the experimental program one at a time (rules, ignoring, and praise) to better study their individual contributions. Third, a reversal of teacher behavior was not attempted. Such a reversal would more conclusively show the importance of teacher’s behavior in producing the obtained changes. Fourth, extensive recordings of teacher behavior under all experimental conditions were not undertaken in the earlier study. The present study attempted to deal with each of these problems.
Procedures 3 Teachers in a public elementary school volunteered to participate in the study. After consultation with teachers and observation of the children in the classroom, two children with a high frequency of problem behavior were selected for study in each class. Previously developed behavioral categories (Becker et al., 1967) were modified for use with these particular children and baseline recordings were made to determine the frequency of problem behaviors. At the end of the baseline period the teachers entered a workshop on applications of behavioral principles in the classroom which provided them with the rationale and principles behind the procedures being introduced in their classes. Various experimental procedures were then introduced, one at a time, and the effects on the target children’s behaviors observed. The experiments were begun in late November and continued to the end of the school year. Subjects 4 Classroom A. There were 29 children in Mrs. A’s middle-primary (second grade) room who ranged in school progress from mid-first-grade level to early-third-grade level. Cliff and Frank were chosen as the target children.
5 Cliff was chosen because he displayed no interest in school. In Mrs. A’s words, “he would sit throughout entire work periods fiddling with objects in his desk, talking, doing nothing, or misbehaving by bothering others and walking around the room. Lately he has started hitting others for no apparent reason. When Cliff was required to stay in at recess to do his work, he would complete the work in a short time and it was usually completely accurate. I was unable to motivate him into working on any task during the regular work periods.” Cliff is the son of a university professor who was born in Europe and immigrated when Cliff was 5-yr old. Cliff scored 91 on an early (CA 5-3) intelligence test. This score was discounted by the examiner because of language problems. His group IQ scores rose steadily (CA 5-9, IQ 103; CA 6-2, IQ 119; CA 7-1, IQ 123). His achievement scores indicated a low second-grade level at the beginning of the present study.
Cliff was seen by the school social worker throughout the entire first grade and throughout this entire study. 6 Cliff was observed early in the year and it was noted that he did not respond once to teacher’s questions. He played with his fingers, scratched himself repeatedly, played in his desk, paid no attention to the assignment and had to stay in at recess to finish his work. Almost continually he made blowing sounds and talked to himself. On occasions he was out of his seat making noises and talking. He would leave the room without permission. Before the study began the observers made the following notes: “What a silly kid, writing on the bottom of his shoes, writing on his arms, blowing kisses at the girls. He was vying for the attention of the girl behind him, but she ignored him. . . . Poor Cliff! he acts so silly for his age. He tried to talk to the other kids, but none of them would pay attention to him. . . . Cliff seems concerned with the little girl beside him (girl behind him last week). He has a sign on his desk which reads, ‘Do you love me?’. . . .”
Frank was described by his teacher as a likable child. He had a record of misbehavior in the classroom and intense fighting on the play ground. He was often out of his seat talking to other children and did not respond to “discipline”. If someone was reprimanded for doing something, Frank would often do the same thing. Test scores indicated an IQ of 106 (Stanford-Binet) and achievement level just under beginning second grade at the start of school (average California Achievement Test [begin page 141] scores 1.6 grades). The school psychologist noted that Frank’s mother was a person “who willingly permitted others to make decisions for her and did not seem able to discipline Frank.” Father was absent from the home during the entire year in the Air Force. 8 Classroom B. Twenty children were assigned to Mrs. B’s kindergarten room. Two children were observed initially; one moved from the community shortly after baseline was taken, leaving only Stan for the study. 9 Stan was described as coming from a truly pathetic home environment. The mother was not married and the family of four children subsisted on state aid. One older brother was enrolled in a special class for the educable retarded.
At the beginning of the year, Stan’s behavior was characterized by the teacher as “wild”. She reported that, “Stan would push and hit and grab at objects and at children. He had no respect for authority and apparently didn’t even hear directions. He knew how to swear profusely, and I would have to check his pockets so I would know he wasn’t taking home school equipment. He would wander around the room and it was difficult to get him to engage in constructive work. He would frequently destroy any work he did rather than take it home.” 10 The difficult home situation was made manifest during the month of March. Stan had been absent for two weeks and it was reported that his mother was taking her children out of public school and placing them in a local parochial school. Investigation by school personnel indicated that Stan’s mother had moved the children into a relative’s home and had gone to the hospital to have another illegitimate baby. A truancy notice was filed for all four children including Stan. Following legal notice the children were returned to school. Rating of Child Behavior
The same rating schedule was used in both classrooms except that Isolate Play was added to the list of Inappropriate Behaviors for the kindergarten. Since the children were expected to be involved in structured group activities during observation periods, going off by oneself to play with the many toys or materials in the room was considered inappropriate by the kindergarten teacher. Inappropriate Behavior was defined as the occurrence of one or more of the behaviors listed under Inappropriate Behavior in Table 1 during any observation interval. 12 Observers were trained in the reliable use of the rating schedule before baseline recordings began. Training consisted of practice in use of the rating schedule in the classroom. Two observers would each rate the same child for 20 min and then return to the research office to compare their ratings and discuss their differences with their supervisor. Training was continued until reliability was above 80% on each behavior code. Training lasted approximately two weeks. Reliability was determined periodically throughout the study by dividing the number of agreements by the number of agreements plus disagreements. An agreement was defined as a rating of the same behavior class in the same observation interval. Average reliability over children, behavior classes, and days for the 69 occasions (out of 238) on which it was checked was 81%. Single day reliabilities ranged from 68% to 96%.
Reliabilities were checked in each phase of the study. 13 Instructions to observers followed those used by Becker et al. (1967). In essence, the observers were not to respond to the children, but to fade into the background as much as possible. Teachers, as well as children, quickly learned not to respond to the observers, although early in the study one observer was attacked by a kindergarten child. The observer did not respond to the behavior and it quickly disappeared. Experimental changes were initiated without informing observers in an attempt to control any observer bias. However, the changes were often dramatic enough that observer comments clearly reflected programmed changes in teacher’s behavior. 14 The target children were observed for 20 min per day, three days a week. In the middle primary class, observations were taken when the children were engaged in seat work or group instruction. In the kindergarten class, observations were made when structured activities, rather than free play, were expected. Each observer had a clipboard, stopwatch, and rating sheet. The observer would watch for 10 sec and use symbols to record the occurrence of behaviors. In each minute, ratings would be made in five consecutive 10-sec intervals and the final C:\rsm\y520\readings\madsen68\madsen68.fm
Table 1: Behavioral Coding Categories for Children
I. Inappropriate Behaviors A. Gross Motor. Getting out of seat, standing up, running, hopping, skipping, jumping, walking around, moving chair, etc. F. Turning Around. Turning head or head and body to look at another person, showing objects to another child, attending to another child. Must be of 4-sec duration, or more than 90 degrees using desk as a reference. Not rated unless seated. If this response overlaps two time intervals and cannot be rated in the first because it is less than 4-sec duration, then rate in the interval in which the end of the response occurs. G. Other Inappropriate Behavior. Ignores teacher’s question or command. Does something different from that directed to do, including minor motor behavior such as playing with pencil or eraser when supposed to be writing, coloring while the record is on, doing spelling during the arithmetic lesson, playing with objects. The child involves himself in a task that is not appropriate. Not rated when other Inappropriate Behaviors are rated. Must be time off task. H. Mouthing Objects. Bringing thumb, fingers, pencils or any object in contact with the mouth.
B. Object Noise. Tapping pencil or other objects, clapping, tapping feet, rattling or tearing paper, throwing book on desk, slamming desk. Be conservative, only rate if you can hear the noise when eyes are closed. Do not include accidental dropping of objects.
C. Disturbance of Other’s Property. Grabbing objects or work, knocking neighbor’s books off desk, destroying another’s property, pushing with desk (only rate if someone is there). Throwing objects at another person without hitting them. D. Contact (high and low intensity). Hitting, kicking, shoving, pinching, slapping, striking with object, throwing object which hits another person, poking with object, biting, pulling hair, touching, patting, etc. Any physical contact is rated. E. Verbalization. Carrying on conversations with other children when it is not permitted. Answers teacher without raising hand or without being called on; making comments or calling out remarks when no questions have been asked: calling teacher’s name to get her attention; crying, screaming, singing, whistling, laughing, coughing, or blowing loudly. These responses directed to teacher or children
I. Isolate Play. Limited to kindergarten free-play per period. Child must be farther than 3 ft from any person, neither initiates or responds to verbalizations with other people, engages in no interaction action of a non-verbal nature with other children for the entire 10-sec period. II. Appropriate Behavior Time on task; e.g., answers question, listens, raises hand, works on assignment. Must include while 10-sec interval except for Turning Around responses of less than 4-sec duration.
15 The primary dependent variable was percentage of intervals in which an Inappropriate Behavior occurred. Since the varieties of Inappropriate Behavior permitted a more detailed analysis with the schedule used, the presentation of results is focussed on them, even though functionally their converse (Appropriate Behavior) was the main behavior being manipulated. Ratings of Teacher Behavior 16 Ratings of teacher behavior were obtained to clarify relationships between changes in teacher behavior and changes in child behavior. Recordings of teacher behavior were also used by the experimenters to help the teachers learn the contingent use of Approval and Disapproval Behaviors. The teacher rating schedule is presented in Table 2. Teacher behaviors were recorded by subclasses in relation to child behaviors. That is, the record would show whether a teacher response followed Appropriate child classroom behavior or whether it followed one of the categories of Inappropriate Behavior.
Responses to all children were rated. Teacher behavior was scored as the frequency of occurrence of a specified class of behavior during a 20-min interval. Teacher ratings were either recorded during one of the periods when a target child was being rated by another observer, or immediately thereafter when only one observer made both ratings. Teacher behavior was rated on the average of once a week, except during experimental transitions, when more frequent ratings were made. The number of days teacher behavior was rated under each condition is given in Table 3. Most recorded teacher behavior (about 85%) fell in the Verbal Approval or Disapproval categories. For this reason we have used the term Praise interchangeably with Approval Behaviors and Criticism interchangeably with Disapproval Behaviors. 17 Reliability of measures of teacher behavior were checked approximately every other rating day (21 of 42 occasions for the two teacher [begin page 143]
Table 2: Coding Definitions for Teacher Behaviors
Appropriate child behavior is defined by the child rating categories. The teacher’s rules for classroom behavior must be considered when judging whether the child’s behavior is Appropriate or Inappropriate. I. Teacher Approval following Appropriate Child Behavior A. Contact. Positive physical contact such as embracing, kissing, patting, holding arm or hand, sitting on lap. B. Praise. Verbal comments indicating approval, commendation or achievement. Examples: that’s good, you are doing right, you are studying well, I like you, thank you, you make me happy. C. Facial attention. Smiling at child. II. Teacher Approval following Inappropriate Child Behavior Same as codes under I. C. Threats. Consequences mentioned by the teacher to be used at a later time. If _____________ then ________________ comments. D. Facial attention. Frowning or grimacing at a child. B. Criticism. Critical comments of high or low intensity, yelling, scolding, raising voice. Examples: that’s wrong, don’t do that, stop talking, did I call on you, you are wasting your time, don’t laugh, you know what you are supposed to do.
IV. Teacher Disapproval following Inappropriate Child Behavior Same codes as under III. V. “Timeout” Proceduresa A. The teacher turns out the lights and says nothing. B. The teacher turns her back and waits for silence. C. The teacher stops talking and waits for quiet. D. Keeping in for recess. E. Sending child to office. F. Depriving child in the classroom of some privilege. VI. Academic Recognition Calling on a child for an answer. Giving “feedback” for academic correctness.
III. Teacher Disapproval following Appropriate Child Behavior. A. Holding the child. Focibly holding the child, putting child out in the hall, grabbing, hitting, spanking, slapping, shaking the child.
a.These are procedural definitions of teacher behaviors possibly involving the withdrawal of reinforcers as a consequence of disruptive behaviors which teacher could not ignore.
18 by dividing the agreements as to time interval and behavior codes by the agreements plus disagreements. Average reliability over behavior classes, teachers, and days was 84% with a range from 70% to 96% for individual day measures. Experimental Conditions 19 In the middle-primary class (Class A) the experimental conditions may be summarized as consisting of Baseline; introduction of Rules; Rules plus Ignoring deviant behavior; Rules plus Ignoring plus Praise for appropriate behavior: return to Baseline; and finally reinstatement of Rules, Ignoring, and Praise. In the kindergarten class (Class B) the experimental conditions consisted of Baseline; introduction of Rules; Ignoring Inappropriate Behavior (without continuing to emphasize rules); and the combination of Rules, Ignoring, and Praise. 20 The various experimental procedures were to be used by the teachers for the classroom as a whole throughout the day, not just for the children whose behavior was being recorded, and not just when observers were present. 21 Baseline. During the Baseline period the teachers conducted their classes in their typical way. No attempt was made to influence their behavior.
22 Rules. Many people would argue that just telling children what is expected should have considerable effect on their behavior. We wished to explore this question empirically. Teachers were instructed individually and given written instructions as follows: “The first phase of your participation in the use of behavioral principles to modify classroom behaviors is to specify explicit rules of classroom conduct. When this is done, there is no doubt as to what is expected of the children in your classroom. However, do not expect a dramatic shift in classroom control, as we all know that knowing the prohibitions does not always keep people from “sin”. This is the first phase in the program and inappropriate behavior should be reduced, but perhaps not eliminated. The rules should be formulated with the class and posted in a conspicuous location (a chart [begin page 144] in front of the room or a special place on the chalkboard where they will not be erased). Go over the rules three or four times asking the class to repeat them back to you when they are initially formulated and use the following guidelines:
“(a) Make the rules short and to the point so they can be easily memorized. “(b) Five or six rules are adequate. Special instructions for specific occasions are best given when the occasion arises. Children will not remember long lists of rules. “(c) Where possible phrase the rules in a positive not a negative manner (for example, “Sit quietly while working,” rather than, “Don’t talk to your neighbors”). We want to emphasize positive actions. “(d) Keep a sheet on your desk and record the number of times you review the rules with the class (strive for at least four to six repetitions per day). Remember that young children do not have the retention span of an adult and frequent reminders are necessary. Let the children recite the rules as you ask them, rather than always enumerating them yourself. “(e) Remind the class of the rules at times other than when someone has misbehaved. “(f) Try to change no other aspects of your classroom conduct except for the presentation of the rules at appropriate times.”
23 Teacher tally sheets indicated that these instructions were followed quite explicitly. The average number of presentations of rules was 5.2 per day. 24 Ignoring Inappropriate Behavior. The second experimental phase involved Ignoring Inappropriate Behavior. In Class A, repetition of rules was also continued. Individual conferences to explain written instructions were given both teachers. Both teachers were given the following instructions: “The first aspect of the study was to make expectations explicit. This you have been doing over the past few weeks. During the next phase of the study you should learn to ignore (do not attend to) behaviors which interfere with learning or teaching, unless of course, a child is being hurt by another, in which case use a punishment which seems appropriate, preferably withdrawal of some positive reinforcement. Learning to ignore is rather difficult. Most of us pay attention to the violations. For example, instead of ignoring we often say such things as the following: “Johnny, you know you are supposed to be working”; “Sue, will you stop bothering your neighbors”; “Henrietta, you have been at that window for a long time;” “Jack, can you keep your hands off Bill”; “Susie, will you please sit down”; “Alex, stop running around and do your work”; “Jane, will you please stop rocking on your chair.”
“Behaviors which are to be ignored include motor behaviors such as getting out of seat, standing up, running, walking around the room, moving chairs, or sitting in a contorted manner. Any verbal comment or noise not connected with the assignments should also be ignored, such as: carrying on conversations with other children when it is not permitted, answering questions without raising hands or being called on, making remarks when no questions have been asked, calling your name to get attention, and extraneous noises such as crying, whistling, laughing loudly, blowing noise, or coughing. An additional important group of behaviors to be ignored are those which the student engages in when he is supposed to be doing other things, e.g., when the child ignores your instructions you are to ignore him. Any noises made with objects, playing with pencils or other materials should be ignored, as well as, taking things from or disturbing another student by turning around and touching or grabbing him. “The reason for this phase of the experiment is to test the possibility that attention to Inappropriate Behavior may serve to strengthen the very behavior that the attention is intended to diminish. Inappropriate Behavior may be strengthened by paying attention to it even though you may think that you are punishing the behavior.”
25 Praise for Appropriate Behavior. The third phase of the experiment included individual contacts with teachers to encourage and train Praising of Appropriate Behavior. The Praise instructions to the teachers were as follows: [begin page 145} “The first phase included specifying explicit rules, writing them on the board and reviewing them 4-6 times per day. The second phase was designed to reduce the amount of attention paid to behaviors which were unwanted by ignoring them. This third phase is primarily directed toward increasing Appropriate Behaviors through praise and other forms of approval. Teachers are inclined to take good behavior for granted and pay attention only when a child acts up or misbehaves. We are now asking you to try something different. This procedure is characterized as “catching the child being good” and making a comment designed to reward the child for good behavior. Give praise, attention, or smile when the child is doing what is expected during the particular class period in question.
Inappropriate Behavior would not be a problem if all children were engaging in a great deal of study and school behavior, therefore, it is necessary to apply what you have learned in the workshop. Shape by successive approximations the behavior desired by using praise and attention. Start “small” by giving praise and attention at the first signs of Appropriate Behavior and work toward greater goals. Pay close attention to those children who normally engage in a great deal of misbehavior. Watch carefully and when the child begins to behave appropriately, make a comment such as, “You’re going a fine job, (name).” It is very important during the first few days to catch as many good behaviors as possible. Even though a child has just thrown an eraser at the teacher (one minute ago) and is now studying, you should praise the study behavior. (It might also decrease the rate of eraser throwing.)
We are assuming that your commendation and praise are important to the child. This is generally the case, but sometimes it takes a while for praise to become effective. Persistence in catching children being good and delivering praise and attention should eventually pay off in a better behaved classroom. “Some examples of praise comments are as follows: I like the way you’re doing your work quietly (name). That’s the way I like to see you work _____________. That’s a very good job ________________________. You’re doing fine _________. You got two right__________________, that’s very good (if he generally gets no answers right). “In general, give praise for achievement, prosocial behavior, and following the group rules. Specifically, you can praise for concentrating on individual work, raising hand when appropriate, responding to questions, paying attention to directions and following through, sitting in desk and studying, sitting quietly if noise has been a problem. Try to use variety and expression in your comments.
Stay away from sarcasm. Attempt to become spontaneous in your praise and smile when delivering praise. At first you will probably get the feeling that you are praising a great deal and it sounds a little phony to your ears. This is a typical reaction and it becomes more natural with the passage of time. Spread your praise and attention around. If comments sometimes might interfere with the ongoing class activities then use facial attention and smiles. Walk around the room during study time and pat or place your hand on the back of a child who is doing a good job. Praise quietly spoken to the children has been found effective in combination with some physical sign of approval. “General Rule: Give praise and attention to behaviors which facilitate learning. Tell the child what he is being praised for. Try to reinforce behaviors incompatible with those you wish to decrease.”
The teachers were also instructed to continue to ignore deviant behavior and to repeat the rules several times a day. 27 Additional training given teachers consisted of: (a) discussion of problems with suggested solutions during weekly seminars on behavior analysis, and (b) specific suggestions from the experimenter on possible alternative responses in specific situations based on the experimenter’s observations of the teachers during experimental transitions, or based on observer data and notes at other times when the data showed that the teachers were not on program. 28 [begin page 146] Additional cues were provided to implement the program. Cards were placed on the teachers’ desks containing the instructions for the experimental phase in which they were engaged. 29 Reversal. In Class A the final experimental conditions involved an attempt to return to Baseline, followed by a reinstatement of the Rules, Praise, and Ignore condition. On the basis of the earlier observations of Teacher A, we were able to specify to her how frequently she made disapproving and approving comments. The success of this procedure can be judged from the data.
Percentage of observation intervals in which Inappropriate Behaviors occurred as a function of conditions is graphed in Fig. 1 and 2. Major changes in Inappropriate Behaviors occurred only when Praise or Approval for Appropriate Behaviors was emphasized in the experimental procedures. A t test, comparing average Inappropriate Behavior in conditions where Praise was emphasized with those where Praise was not emphasized, was significant at the 0.05 level (df = 2). 31 Before examining the results more closely, it is necessary to inspect the data on teacher behavior. Table 3 gives the frequency of classes of teacher behaviors averaged within experimental conditions. Since day-to-day variability of teacher behavior was low for the measures used, these averages fairly reflect what went on. 32 Introduction of Rules into the classroom had no appreciable effect on Inappropriate Behavior.
33 Ignoring Inappropriate Behaviors produced inconsistent results. In Class A the children clearly became worse under this condition; in Class B little change was apparent. Both teachers had a difficult time adhering to this condition, and Teacher A found this phase of the experiment very unpleasant. Table 3 shows that Teacher A was only able to reduce critical comments from an average of one per 1 min to an average of three in 4 min. Teacher B cut her critical comments in half. In view of these difficulties, the present results cannot be taken as a clear test of the effects of responding with Disapproval to inappropriate Behaviors. 34 The failure to eliminate Disapproval Reactions to inappropriate Behaviors in Phase Three of the experiment, adds some ambiguities to the interpretation of the Phase Four data for Teacher A. The Rules, Ignore, and Praise condition for Teacher A involved both a reduction in critical comments (Ignoring) as well as a marked increase in Praise.