APRIL 27, 2018
This research proposal would have not be successful without several key figures. These figures have contributed one way or the other towards the success of this proposal. Hence, I would like to appreciate and thank them for their endless and untiring support. Firstly I would like to deeply thank the institution – Don Bosco Technological Institute for assisting with the library for my literature searches and typing of the proposal. Moreover, I would also like to thank the two librarians; Dr. Edgar, PhD and Ms. Yeska for their endless support in assisting.
Secondly I would like to thank our very own lecturer Mrs. Evelyn Tekepa for steering and directing me through lectures. She was a pivotal person in my study of EDU413 Research Methods, in various ways.

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Lastly but not the least, I would like to thank my fellow student friends for their support in encouragement or service. In particular, I greatly thank, Tobby Kiroko, Voyolah Dage, Margaret Apini and Leonard Rausim for assisting with their laptops to search and type my work.

Finally, not forgetting my beloved family and other friends for their support and assistance especially in encouragement and finance. Thank you all for being supportive and assistive.

Table of contents
Statement of the Problem
Academic achievement has been variously defined as a level of proficiency attained in academic work or as formally acquired knowledge in school subjects, which is often represented by percentage of marks obtained by students in examinations (Kohli, 1975). As such, academic achievements of students can be influence by several factors in and out of school. Thus
From the preliminary literature review, two hypothesis have emerged. They are
H1: There is a signification relationship between teachers’ application of reinforcement skill and student academic performance and achievement in high school
H2: There is no signification relationship between teachers’ application of reinforcement skill and student academic performance and achievement in high school
Scope and Delimitation
This study aims to explore the possible effects of reinforcement on students’ academic achievement. Out of all the grade 10 students of Limana Vocational Center, 30 students were engaged and used as a sample in conducting the ethnographic study. This study limits its coverage on the grade 10 students only including their respective subject teachers. The main purpose is to identify if there is any influence of application of reinforcements on students’ academic performance and achievement. This study considers every aspect of students’ and teachers’ personal information in relation to the research title, research question and research hypothesis. Each of the respondents are given same questionnaires to answer. And this study focuses on the current grade 10 students of the present school year, 2018.

Need for the Study/Research Rational and Significance
As N.N.S Mandah and O.L Gbarato; et al (2016) the result of this study will provide valuable information for the teachers on ways and avenues to use reinforcement’s skills on their students in teaching and learning. The study will also lay a platform for providing policy direction towards improvement on existing teaching skills in academic institutions for School Managements, Government and other stakeholders.
Furthermore, it will also assist the Department of Education to plan training and retraining programs for teachers to equip them on the application of reinforcement. Researchers could use information from this research as reference material for their work.

Conceptual and Theoretical Framework
Skinner’s Operant Learning Theory (1953): Edinyang, Sunday David et al, (2016) stated that this theory is also known as radical behaviorism. Skinner in Shaffer (2005) proposed that both animals and humans will repeat acts that lead to favorable outcomes. Skinner’s operant learning theory emphasizes that the direction in which we develop depends on external stimuli which could be a reinforcement or punishment. The human behavior according to Skinner can take many forms and can emerge or disappear depending on whether they have positive or negative consequences. A bad behavior can be reinforced when the victims continue to give in or yield to it, another person who is punished will learn to suppress such habits or behavior. Schaefer (2008) opined that sanctions and reinforcements for good behavior could include praise, a word of gratitude, a pat on the back, or a medal, while fines, threats and confinement could serve as negative sanction for bad behavior.

Research Paradigm
According to Y. Mehdipour and D. Balaramulu et al. 2013, “Teacher-student relationships are essential for the achievement of both teachers and students. As part of classroom management, such relationships are the most significant factor in determining teacher and students’ work as successful. The influence of teacher’s behavior plays an important role in the academic achievement of students. As such, a teacher has to display exceptional behavior as a person. Teachers also need to be thoughtful in the way in which they react to students’ comments. Generally, teachers react by using praise, acceptance, remediation, or criticism in responding to students. This encouragement is called reinforcement and is defined as effect on the behavior. (Derk, 1974, as cited in Y. Mehdipour and D. Balaramulu, 2013).

Schunk, (2000) stated that students typically find reinforcing such as teacher praise, free time, privileges, stickers, and high grades. Still, knowing for certain whether a consequence is reinforcing is impossible until it is presented after a response and we see whether behavior subsequently changes (p. 51).

Reinforcement: Positive and Negative Reinforcement:
Milam and Birch (1998), defined reinforcement as the process whereby a reinforcer increases the likelihood of a response (p. 128). N. N. S. Mandah and O. L. Gbarato et al. (2016) stated that, reinforcement is a skill applied to modify or change pupils’ behavior positively not negatively which can be applied by the teacher increase positive behavior of the learners and also discourage learners’ negative behavior. Generally, reinforcement involves those techniques that results in positive alterations of learning behavior. There are two main types of reinforcement- positive and negative reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement is the process in which the teacher encourages positive behaviors of learners to enable them achieve the specific objective(s) of the lesson. The teacher can smile, praise the learner, or make complementary comments such as well done, good, splendid, etc. This process encourages pupils’ attention, maintains motivation and modifies disruptive behavior thereby helping to improve learning (N. N. S. Mandah and O. L. Gbarato et al. 2016).

Negative reinforcement refers to the application of skills and techniques that will reduce, decrease or discourage negative behaviors in the learner. This can be achieved through the teacher giving punishment to the learners as a means of making them improve on their performance or discouraging those behaviors that may have led to the poor performance, shouting at the learner, making such comments as too bad, no, very poor, shaking the head or closing his eyes, etc.

In general, reinforcement has several components as stated by in which seven components of reinforcement were identified and described, and comprise of:
Verbal reinforcement
Gestural reinforcement
Proximity reinforcement
Contact reinforcement
Activity reinforcement
Token reinforcement
However, Mandah et al. 2016 outlined some of the factors that may hinder the proper application of reinforcement by school teachers have been identified by as:
No students show interest in the application of the skill always
Insincerity on the part of the teacher in terms of praise.

Over use of one type of reinforcement and its relativity to others.

Measures to mitigate these factors include frequent application of reinforcement in the classroom and the fact that the reinforcement should be task-centered and not ego-centered.

Reinforcement and Motivation:
According to Dale. H. Schunk (2000) behavior theories define motivation as an increased rate or probability of occurrence of behavior, which results from repeating behaviors in response to stimuli or as a consequence of reinforcement (p. 13). Schunk (2000) further argued that, Skinner’s (1968) Operant conditioning contains no new principles to account for motivation. Motivated behavior is increased or continued responding produced by effective reinforcement. Students motivated to learn choose a task, persist at it, and expend effort to succeed, all of which are behaviors. Internal processes such as needs, cognitions, and emotions are not necessary to explain motivated behavior. Students display motivated behavior because they were previously reinforced for it and because effective reinforcers are present. Consequently, behavioral theories do not distinguish motivation from learning but somewhat use the same principles to explain behavior. (p. 13)
Motivation can be classified into intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation is the pleasure and interest in activities that exists within an individual rather than outside pressure. It is the foundation of having enjoyment in performing activity without any external incentives.

Woolfolk (2010) argued that the study of motivation focuses on how and why people initiate actions directed towards specific goals, how long it takes them to get started in the activity. Furthermore, it also directs them on how intensively they are involved in the activity, how persistent they are in their attempts to reach this goals, and what they are thinking and feeling along the way. (p. 376; 411)
According to Stipek (1996), early approaches to the study of motivation were rooted in the literature on extrinsic reinforcement. Within this literature, all behavior, including achievement, was believed to be governed by reinforcement contingencies. Proponents of this approach included B.F. Skinner, who identified different types of reinforcers. Positive reinforcers, or rewards, are consequences that increase the probability of a given behavior they were made contingent on, whereas negative reinforcers are consequences that increase the probability of a given behavior by removing or reducing some negative external stimulus. Punishment, on the other hand, refers to unpleasant consequences that decrease the probability of a given behavior. Under this framework, the teacher’s job is clear: to use good grades and praise to reward desired behavior and bad grades or loss of privileges as punishment. As Stipek notes, this approach is limited to the extent that rewards and punishments are not equally effective for all students, and desired behaviors (such as paying attention) are difficult to reinforce. Moreover, the benefits of extrinsic rewards tend to decay over time (Stipek, 1996).

Because operant conditioning happens so widely, its effects on motivation are a bit more complex than the effects of respondent conditioning. As in respondent conditioning, operant conditioning can encourage intrinsic motivation to the extent that the reinforcement for an activity can sometimes be the activity itself. When a student reads a book for the sheer enjoyment of reading, for example, he is reinforced by the reading itself; then we often say that his reading is “intrinsically motivated”. More often, however, operant conditioning stimulates both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation at the same time. The combining of both is noticeable in the examples that I listed above. In each example, it is reasonable to assume that the student felt intrinsically motivated to some partial extent, even when reward came from outside the student as well. This was because part of what reinforced their behavior was the behavior itself—whether it was making faces, running a mile, or contributing to a discussion. At the same time, though, note that each student probably was also extrinsically motivated, meaning that another part of the reinforcement came from consequences or experiences not inherently part of the activity or behavior itself. The boy who made a face was reinforced not only by the pleasure of making a face, for example, but also by the giggles of classmates. The track student was reinforced not only by the pleasure of running itself, but also by knowledge of his improved times and speeds. Even the usually restless child sitting still for five minutes may have been reinforced partly by this brief experience of unusually focused activity, even if he was also reinforced by the teacher aide’s compliment. Note that the extrinsic part of the reinforcement may sometimes be more easily observed or noticed than the intrinsic part, which by definition may sometimes only be experienced within the individual and not also displayed outwardly. This latter fact may contribute to an impression that sometimes occurs, that operant conditioning is really just “bribery in disguise”, that only the external reinforcements operate on students’ behavior. It is true that external reinforcement may sometimes alter the nature or strength of internal (or intrinsic) reinforcement, but this is not the same as saying that it destroys or replaces intrinsic reinforcement.

Finally, the process application of reinforcement by teachers encourages pupils’ attention, maintains motivation and modifies disruptive behavior thereby helping to improve learning. Reinforcements should be applied in a proper way at rightful time to reap positive outcomes of desired behavior. However, if misapplied it can lead to negative outcomes with poor academic performance/achievements. Academic achievement was enhanced the most by use of three socializing agents (peers, teachers and parents) to reinforce academic behavior. Reinforcement using all three agents was the most effective way to improve achievement (Gauthier et al., 1984, as cited in Y. Mehdipour and D. Balaramulu, 2013).

Motivation plays an important role in students’ learning. There are various techniques of motivation, but use of motivational expressions as positive reinforcement is very helpful in students learning and academic achievement. It enhances the learning and also helps to bring positive changes in the student’s behavior. On the other hand negative reinforcement discourages the students. Teachers with higher qualification and professional degree use more motivational expressions to motivate their students.
The diagram below summarizes the link between Reinforcement and motivation on high school students’ academic achievement.

Richards and Schmidt (2010) define research methodology as “the procedures used in carrying out an investigation, including the methods used to collect and analyze data” (p. 362). Hence, this chapter describes the research design and methodology that will be employed in this study. This is done under the following headings: design and locale of the study, sample selection and sample size, research instruments, piloting, data collection techniques, and data analysis. The research methods used in this study will include library research and a field survey. Library research will involve of review of documents such as textbook, journals, research findings and relevant publications per the title of the proposal. The field survey will be conducted as described in other sections of this chapter.

Research Design
In this research, the researcher will employ the mix methods since the study is primarily on the effects of reinforcements on students’ academic achievement teaching and learning environment. Design is therefore a plan or strategy for conducting the research. The main focus of the study is to investigate and identify if there is any correlation between application of reinforcements from the teachers and students’ academic performance or achievement in Limana Vocational Centre.

Locale of Study
The context is significant in qualitative research. According to Holloway and Wheeler
(2002), context includes the “environment and conditions in which the study takes place as well as the culture of the participants and location” (pg. 34).

This study will be carried out in/at Limana Vocational School, National Capital District Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. To be specific, the interviews will be carried in the school campus in vacant rooms, whenever possible.

Respondent and Sampling Procedure
The primary respondents of the study will be high school students, especially grade 10s and their teachers. However, not all the grade 10 classes and teachers will be engaged in this study. Due to time and costs constrains, a class will be chosen and the students will be interviewed including their respective subject teachers and patrons/matrons.
In addition, students in that class will be randomly selected depending on their previous academic performances and achievements. Hence, the class patron/matron will be asked to provide previous academic records for the researcher to categorize the students before randomly selecting them. The three categories would be; high achievers, average achievers and low achievers (see Appendix B). After categorizing them, the students will be randomly selected, 10 students per category considering also gender equality. Therefore, a total of 30 grade 10 students will be selected and engaged in this research; 15 males and 15 females.

According to Parahoo (1997:52, 325), a research instrument is “a tool used to collect data.

An instrument is a tool designed to measure knowledge attitude and skills.” The primary instrument that will be used to gather data will be structure questionnaires. However, interviews will also be carried out to obtain data. Refer to the appendix for the sample questionnaire that will be used in this study to gather data.

This instrument will be used to collect data from the respondents; both students and teachers (see appendix II and III). The instruments are suitable because the respondents are literate and conversant with educational issues addressed in this study. In addition the instrument is appropriate because the questions can be answered at the respondents’ convenience given that they are busy due to their nature of work. In order to address all the areas under investigation in this study, the questionnaires have different sections based on the objectives of the study as well as research questions
This tool will be used to collect data from PTE curriculum developers at KIE (see Appendix IV). The interview schedule will enable the researcher to get detailed responses from the respondents. It will also be possible to probe further for clarifications and explanations where necessary. Interview questions are designed in such a way that they probe the various areas covered by the research questions. An interview typically involves the researcher asking questions and getting answers from the respondent. According to Robson (2002) interviews are widely used in social research and the common types include structured, semi-structured and unstructured interviews. Selection of the type depends on the “depth’ of response sought. Structured formats have fixed questions in pre-decided order and standardized wording where responses are selected from a list of alternatives. Semi-structured interviews use much more flexibility in terms of order of questions and responses. Unstructured “in-depth” interview will be adopted in this study as it allows the respondent to say whatever they like on the broad topic thus giving insights on other pertinent issues.

Data Gathering Procedure
Statistical Treatment
Glossary of terms
Positive reinforcement
Negative reinforcement
Theory of motivation
Theory of reinforcement
Academic achievement
British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science
17(3): 1-11, 2016, Article no.BJESBS.25551
ISSN: 2278-0998
SCIENCEDOMAIN international
www.sciencedomain.org2. Global Journal of HUMAN SOCIAL SCIENCE
Linguistics & Education
Volume 13 Issue 3 Version 1.0 Year 2013
Type: Double Blind Peer Reviewed International Research Journal
Publisher: Global Journals Inc. (USA)
Online ISSN: 2249-460x & Print ISSN: 0975-587X
3. International Journal of English Language Teaching
Vol.3, No.1, pp. 32-47, March 2015
Published by European Centre for Research Training and Development UK (
International Journal of Advancements in Research & Technology, Volume 2, Issue5, May-2013 217
ISSN 2278-7763
Copyright © 2013 SciResPub. IJOART
The Influence of Teacher’s Behavior on
The Academic Achievement
1) Yousef Mehdipour1,
PhD Scholar, Institute of Advanced Study in Education, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India.

E-mail: [email protected]
2) Dr. D. Balaramulu,
Associate Professor & Chairman BoS in Special Education, Institute of Advanced Study in Education, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India.