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by Robert J. Marzano
Table of Contents
Consequences are the other side of rules and procedures. When students do a good job at following rules and procedures, their willingness to be a positive influence in the class should be recognized and acknowledged. Conversely, when students do not follow classroom rules and procedures, their behavior that detracts from learning should be noted. In effect, consequences should be both positive and negative. As with rules and procedures, consequences should be established at the beginning of the school year. Unlike rules and procedures, consequences are typically addressed routinely and frequently. That is, the teacher frequently reinforces adherence to rules and procedures as opposed to taking it for granted, and the teacher also acknowledges lack of adherence to rules and procedures. Rules and procedures for which there are no consequences—positive and negative—do little to enhance learning.
Let's return to our scenario. During the first week of class, Mr. Hutchins had students identify the consequences that would be enforced for not following rules and procedures. He was a little surprised at how harsh some of the students wanted those consequences to be. He also had students identify the positive consequences or acknowledgments they wanted when rules and procedures were followed. Again, he was surprised at how little students wanted in terms of positive consequences. Many students said they just wanted Mr. Hutchins to acknowledge that they were doing a good job.
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