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Using Positive Reinforcement to motivate the Behaviour of Students By Euphemia Okwuba (B.Ed)








     The young boys and girls who are the hope of society cannot be neglected in this information age. The behaviour of the form 2 students of Namong senior high technical school studying business management cannot be overlooked.  They feel they are trapped in studying business management. Their behave must be changed to direct them to the aims of Business Management syllabus which says that the syllabus is designed to help students to:
1. recognize the main functional areas of business management. 
2. acquire basic principles and techniques for managing a profitable business enterprise and many more. (Curriculum Research and Development Division (CRDD) Ghana Education Service, sept. 2010)

 To help rescue this situation, the writer made use of quantitative research methodology together with random and stratified sampling techniques to collect reliable and valid information on the problem. Notwithstanding, the motivational approach, positive reinforcement, questionnaire, interview, and observational research methodologies were employed in gathering relevant information from the research population. Relevant literature on the problem was consulted to find out the views of other writers on the study as well as devising appropriate measures and interventions to rectify the problem. The results and findings of this study revealed the true picture of the problem and its effects on the students' behaviours. Limitations, recommendations, and ways of future improvement have been provided to assist any further research on the problem.



Content                                                                                                          Page









1.0 Background to the study. 1

1.1 Diagnosis. 3

1.2 Evidence: 3

1.3 Causes: 4

Statements of the problem.. 4

1.5 Purpose of the study. 5

1.6 Research question. 5

1.7 Objectives to the study. 6

1.8 Significant of the study. 6

1.9 Delimitation of the study. 6

1.11 Organization of the study. 6



2.0 Introduction. 8

2.1 Theoretical framework of the study. 8

2.2 The concept of planning. 10

2.3 Importance of Planning in Organization. 10

2.4 Stating steps in planning process. 11

2.5 Types of Planning. 11

2.6 Limitation of planning. 12

2.7 The Two Main Categories of Motivation. 13

2.8 The Importance of Positive Reinforcement 16



3.0 Overview.. 24

3.1 Research Design. 24

3.2 Research Area. 25

3.3 Population of the Study. 25

3.3.1 Target population. 25

3.3.2 Accessible population. 26

3.4 Sample population. 26

3.5 Sample Technique. 26

3.6 Intervention 1. 26

3.7 Data Collection. 27

3.8 Implementation of the intervention. 27

3.9 Method of Data Analysis. 34



4.0 Overview.. 35

4.1 Discussion of results. 41



5.0 Summary. 43

5.1 Conclusion. 44

5.2 Recommendations. 44

5.3 Areas for future research. 45





Table                                                                                                                 Page

Table 1: General Pre-test for delegation test 35

Table 2: Pre-test results for decision-making test 36

Table 3: Pre-test results for planning test 37

Table 4: Post-test result of delegation test using delivery method. 38

Table 5: Post-test result of decision-making test using discussion method. 39

Table 6: Post-test result of planning test using delivery method. 40





1.0 Background to the study

            Business Management is a branch of business education that provides knowledge and training about planning, execution, supervision, and analysis of a business enterprise. In this field of education, one learns about the establishment of a company or an organisation, and various functional levels such as production, financial, administrative, human resources, sales & marketing, and others.

Planning is, therefore, the primary function of management. Its purpose is to ensure optimum utilisation of human and economic resources in the business processes. It precedes all other activities of the business undertaking. It is the process of charting out the path for attaining the ultimate purpose of business operations by outlining the sequence of events forecast with a reasonable degree of certainty. It involves not only anticipating the consequences of decisions but also predicting events that may have effects on a business. According to George R. Terry, “It is the selecting and relating of facts and the making and using of assumption regarding the future, in the visualization and formulation of proposed activities believed necessary to achieve desired results.” The oxford dictionary learner's dictionary of current English, 9th edition, defined plan as something that you intend to do or achieve, this is for example by intention. As referred to making the arrangement, it is to make detailed arrangements for something you want to do in the future.

            Therefore, planning as discussed in this context is the process of making plans for something. Its synonyms are preparations, organizations arrangements.

Alford and Beatt described planning as the process, the organized foresight, the vision based on facts, and experience that is required for intelligent results. Planning is also the selecting and relating of facts and the making and using of assumptions regarding the future in the visualization and formulation of proposed activities believed necessary to achieve desired results.” – George Terry.

            The main purpose of conducting this research in Namong Senior High Technical School for the form of two students is to enlighten their perspective about the importance of planning in managing a business organization and also the disadvantages of not using or practicing planning.

            Positive reinforcement is a type of behaviour management that focuses on rewarding what is done well by students. It differs from positive punishment in that you focus less on reprimanding students for misbehaviour and more on rewarding good behaviour and accomplishments.

Positive reinforcement will be used for the achievement of this goal (student understanding the meaning and purpose of planning in management). Positive reinforcement was first described by B.F. Skinner in his theory of operant conditioning. He noticed that you could increase the occurrence of a particular behaviour by adding a reward for the behaviour. He performed some experiments that proved you would see an increase of the rewarded behaviour over time.

Positive reinforcement is the most effective when it takes place immediately after a behaviour. This means that the shorter the amount of time between a behaviour and a reward, the stronger the connection between the two will be. B. F. Skinner.  This is a tool manager can use to motivate their employees to work hard and fulfil their managers' expectations.

In this study, positive reinforcement will be used to help or motivate form two students of Namong senior high Technical school to understand it and get a better meaning about the concept planning.


1.1 Diagnosis

            The problem was discovered during a lesson.

How?  In the middle of the lesson using tests and observation.


1.2 Evidence:

            The following evidence we are gathered on the problem:

As the lesson was going on, it was discovered that 60%of the student did not have a textbook. (Business management textbook)

Through observation, 50% of the student we are dozing thereby proving they were not interested in the topic.

When it got to the performance in the class test, 30%of the student scored below-average mark.


1.3 Causes:

The following were identified as the possible causes of the problem.

1.      Lack of a good foundation in business management thereby affecting their knowledge about planning in an organization.

2.      Poor reading habits among students.

3.      Lack of professional or qualified teachers and poor methods of teaching.


Statements of the problem

            Some students find it difficult to concentrate in class while studying planning.  They depend solely on the teacher for everything. Many times, students will automatically look to the teacher for the correct answer instead of trying it out themselves and if the teacher obliges them with the answer each time, it can become a detrimental problem.

            The teacher can focus on giving positive reinforcement and it will help to make the student more comfortable and willing to work on their own. Some students will try to "hijack lesson", thereby making the lesson go where the teacher does not want it to go. To some extent, this can be a good thing. It shows that the student is interested, and if they are participating very well then, it is a good experience. However, if the lesson stays too off the topic, in the direction you do not want, you must call them back and correct the problem.


1.5 Purpose of the study

            The purpose of the study is to examine and assess the impact of positive reinforcement to planning as a management process by giving an award to the student who performed better than others at the end of the term.

1.      To use positive reinforcement to help the student understand the importance of planning in an organization.

2.      To elaborate more on the concept of planning as what the student does every day and will also do or encounter in the organization when they complete schooling.


1.6 Research question

1.      How would the use of nonverbal communication and praise motivate a student to study planning?

2.      In what ways would the use of grades and tangible objects help a student in understanding the concept of planning in the management process.

3.      How would social attention such as spending time with Jo the teachers motivate a student to study planning in management?


1.7 Objectives for the study

The following objectives have been formulated to guide the study.

1.      To use tangible objects to motivate the student to study hard.

2.      To cheer up a student while the lesson is going on.

3.      To grant extra marks to most hardworking students.


1.8 Significant of the study

            The importance of this study cannot be overemphasized because it holds a lot of benefits to help the form two students of Namong senior High Technical School to grow more interested in learning regarding the motivation that will be given.  The study also clarifies the problem relating to the student being reluctant to learn.


1.9 Delimitation of the study.

            This study was conducted to motivate the behavior of students using positive reinforcement in one school (Namong Senior High Technical School Offinso)in the Ashanti Region. The study was only limited to form two (2) students. Both males and females were included in the study, thus, the results of this study can be applied to all schools across the country - Ghana.


1.10 Organization of the study

            The study was organized into five chapters.

Chapter one talked about the background, diagnosis, statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, research objectives, research questions, significance of the study, definition of terms, delimitations, limitations, and organization of the study.



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