Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2023

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Kathy Enger


Keywords: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, tangible reinforcement, and social reinforcement.



One of the most effective teaching methods is positive reinforcement. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the effectiveness of positive reinforcement on student engagement in the classroom academically, behaviorally, and socially. In particular, Somali bilingual students. This action research project took place at a kindergarten through twelfth grade school in Minnesota. The school had two sites (K–4 and 5–12) and enrolled approximately 308 students. The participants in the study were teachers and staff in K–12 grades. The research design was a quantitative research project. To collect data, teachers who were taking part in this study received an electronic survey consisting of an informed consent form and a questionnaire regarding their experience using positive reinforcement. The survey consisted of ten (10) questions. Each question was scored on a 5-point Likert scale (e.g., very important = 5, important = 4, moderately important = 3, slightly important = 2, unimportant = 1), and the participants rated these five points by marking one of the responses. The results of the survey have shown that positive reinforcement increases student engagement in the classroom.



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