“The best way to teach — whether as an educator, employer, or parent — is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones.”
I strongly disagree that praising positive actions and ignoring negative ones is a reasonable approach for the education process. The biggest problem of this method is that someone’s appraisal is usually not the only result of a person’s deviant behavior. He may still have benefits of what he has done, if positive consequences of his deeds overweigh negative ones.
The education process for every one of us starts in childhood. Children have little experience, so they do not know well rules that govern the world around them yet. They may not realize that if their parents forbid them to do something, it may be only because the action is dangerous. For example, some children can be stopped from sticking nails into a socket only by the fear of receiving a punishment from their parents.
Small children also do not know which behavior is appropriate in the society they are to live in. If they do not learn early that other people do not like certain type of behavior, the results of a conflict may be much more serious, than their parents’ lecturing.
The main purpose of educators is to teach their students effectively. Students who are only beginning to study a subject, may not be able to estimate their progress themselves. In addition, if the teacher ignores their mistakes, they may believe it to be right in further. This may interfere with their education and practice in the future.
Although university students are relatively responsible in general, there are still ones who do not care much about studies. For example, one of my friends did not care about his marks nor about professors’ opinions. It was possible mostly because nobody was going to actually fail him. Eventually, one of the professors failed him twice on a critical exam. My friend has only one try left, otherwise he was to be expelled. Only this sad situation finally made him study and pass the exam.
What about adult people, there are still ones who try to take advantage of others’ patience. An employee who is late for work once or twice can be excused. If, however, he is consciously coming late every day, he needs to be pointed out that his habit is inappropriate and will not be tolerated any longer.
Finally, I believe that for a few people, who are responsible and have clear goals in their lives, the proposed way of education may work. But for others, this approach will only cause unnecessary complications, both for educators and for students.