The Hosh Kids Model in the Classroom

The Hosh Kids Model

The Hosh Kids teaching model is based on three principles: praise, motivation, and self-esteem. Our philosophy is heavily influenced by the works of Doug Lemov, author of Teach Like a Champion, and Richard Lavoie’s The Motivation Breakthrough. In addition, you will find more support on the effect of praise, motivation, and self-esteem below.

On Praise

Praise is essential in the development of a child with high self-esteem and high motivation for achievement. In the early years (one to three years old), a parent’s praising of a child’s effort encourages them to believe that one’s ability to complete a task can improve, attribute success to hard work, enjoy challenges, and generate strategies improvement, which can continue into older age groups (six to eight years old) and beyond (Gunderson et al. 2013). Provided that praise is perceived as sincere, it is beneficial to a child’s motivation as it promotes self-reliance, enhances competence without an overreliance on comparing one’s self to someone else, and conveys attainable standards and expectations (Henderlong and Lepper 2002).

Outside of the home and parent-child relationship, praise plays an important role in the classroom.  Feedback provides learners with a comparison of their performance to educational goals with the aim of helping them achieve or exceed their goals (Schartel 2012). Children have an intrinsic desire to learn, and effective praise, which is that delivered in an appropriate setting, focuses on the specific performance rather than the individual, and is delivered using neutral, non-judgmental language, can foster students’ natural curiosities and desires to learn by focusing their attention on the intrinsic rewards that come from completing a task (Brophy 1981). Students thrive in encouraging environments where they receive specific feedback and have the opportunity to evaluate their own behavior and work. Encouragement fosters autonomy, positive self-esteem, a willingness to explore, and acceptance of self and others (Hitz and Driscoll 1989).

On Self-Esteem

For the last forty years, the idea that a person’s self-concept influences his or her behavior has been integral in American individualistic social philosophy. A belief in the power of self-esteem has been incorporated into psychological, sociological, and educational theory. All of these theories emphasize the influence of inner experiences as sources of individual behavior within the contexts of the given field of study. Many psychologists have hypothesized that a positive self-concept will lead to socially desirable behavior and that a distorted self-concept will lead to socially inadequate behaviors (Scheirer and Kraut 1979).

In educational psychology, there is a belief that a child’s feelings about himself or herself are key factors in his or her ability to achieve in school. However, the role of self-esteem in the academic achievement of a child or adolescent has been one of the most controversial issues in educational psychology. In education, it is essential that students develop an interest in learning, a valuing of education, and a confidence in their own capacities and attributes. These outcomes are manifestations of being intrinsically motivated and recent research suggests that this type of motivation results in high-quality learning and conceptual understanding, as well as enhanced personal growth and adjustment (Deci et al. 1991).

A recent review of current research in this area has suggested that there is little support for the claim that self-esteem influences achievement in any meaningful way (Baumeister et al. 2003), but there is also considerable evidence to suggest that positive self-esteem should be pursued by educators as an important outcome in itself, rather than simply an important component to an outcome that signifies achievement (Humphrey 2004). In 1999, Christopher Mruk published his book Self-Esteem: Research, Theory, and Practice, which suggested that a positive sense of self can be achieved through providing individuals with experiences of personal achievements or successes, acceptance or being value, evidence of influence or power, and virtue or acting on beliefs and this view has been in line with many of leading scholars in the field. This is where the role of praise in developing a motivation to achieve is essential.

On Motivation

Developing long-lasting motivation in a young child is critical for his or her continued academic success. In 2001, a longitudinal study of students from the middle elementary through high school years was published. It concluded that children who begin with lower motivation during childhood are likely to be at a greater disadvantage over the age span (Gottfried et al. 2001). Students who perceive an emphasis on mastery of skills as a goal in the classroom report using more effective strategies, prefer challenging tasks, have a more positive attitude toward the class, and had a stronger belief that success follows from one’s effort and confidence in that effort. Conversely, students who perceive performance standards as a goal in the classroom tend to focus on perceived shortcomings in ability and attribute failure to their own ability (Ames and Archer 1988). In short, it is essential that a healthy self-esteem be developed through praise and encouragement to create highly motivated and high achieving learners.