PRAISE is an acronym for a set of behaviours, strategies and structures which enable teachers to create learning environments that promote good practice and foster high achievement amongst pupils. I have used these ideas myself in the +30 years I have spent as a primary and secondary classroom teacher, so they are not merely theoretical notions, but tried-and-tested approaches that are based on common sense and reflected practice.
At its simplest level, PRAISE stands for:
• P – promoting the positive • R – reducing negative stress • A – acknowledging the person • I – illuminating the way forward • S – structuring social interaction • E – encouraging continuous improvement.
Notice that the use of the present continuous is intentional. Having an effective learning environment is not something that, once it is created, can remain static. It is, like a living organism, something that needs to evolve and continuously adapt. Seeing it as a living entity allows us to realise that it needs to be nurtured, supported, nourished and perpetually enriched in order for it to function effectively.
Over the next 6 entries, I will focus on each of these elements to provide easy-to-implement ideas that teachers can consider to enhance classroom practice.