Teaching Humanity Remotely with Dr. Mindy Shaw – Podcast Ep. 9

In this my 9thpodcast episode, I turn the conversation to the topic of INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL REINFORCEMENT in the ongoing education and raising of our children.

Whether we are talking about the kinds of rewards granted by parents at home such as giving an allowance for chores, or whether there’s the kind of system that was instituted in the school system where I taught where there were “blue tickets” awarded for accomplishment, those are external rewards.

In my teaching and parenting experience, I never wanted to emphasize the external reward… I always took the approach that the learning or the accomplishment was the reward in and of itself, and that’s what would be considered the internal reinforcement.

Throughout this podcast, I talk in detail about various examples of what these kinds of internal and external rewards look like and about what the long-term outcome might be of too much or too many external rewards.   I taught reading at the Kindergarten and First Grade level for decades and I share my experience of how the mechanism of reinforcement works best during that aspect of a child’s education.   I even share some of my own childhood experience and recollections regarding how different kinds of reinforcement impacted my own development.

We even talk about how the teaching of good manners and the promotion of good communication and respectful behavior are subtle but important elements in the system of internal and external reinforcement.

As a habitual front-loader, I understand the stresses of busy parents and I had a number of my own strategies to getting through each day.   The paperbacks and e-books in my series of socio-emotional picture books were all created to help busy parents have the tools and the language to support social and emotional learning at home or in schools… it’s my way of continuing to be of service in the field of education.


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