Types of rewards

Teachers can offer many types of rewards to learners, but they all fall into the categories of compliments, symbols, tokens and prizes.


Verbal praise is the most common form of rewards that teachers offer learners. It consists of complimenting learners when they behave in a way that is positive. When offering praise, make sure to offer it promptly, so the emotional impact of the action is still present. Furthermore, be specific with praise. Let the learner know exactly why what she/he did was admirable, and that your words aren't empty and automatic.

Symbolic rewards

Symbolic rewards are rewards in the form of objects that represent exemplary performance of character or achievement. Perhaps the most common form of symbolic reward is the gold star. Others could be the inclusion of the learner's name or photograph on a bulletin board or poster. Symbolic rewards operate similarly to praise in that they are public demonstrations of favour toward a learners. Symbolic rewards, unlike praise, have the ability to last longer than a single spoken statement, and can serve as reminders for learners to maintain their good standing.

Token rewards

Tokens are physical rewards that represent value, or a form of currency that can be redeemed for a prize such as a voucher, extra free time or outings.

Tangible and activity rewards

Tangible rewards and activity rewards are awards you supply directly to the learner, without the step of symbols or tokens in between. A tangible reward is a prize for positive behaviour or achievement, and includes items such as school supplies or other physical objects. Activity rewards are intangible prizes, such as getting to be line leader or being the teacher's helper, being a team captain during activities.


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Last modified: Monday, 17 August 2020, 4:41 PM