Adults in the workplace understand the power of praise. A person may be hired to do a job and may do the job well in order to earn a regular paycheck. But a word of praise from a boss or mentor or an award for outstanding service can go far in encouraging peak performance and loyalty to the company.
The idea can also work with children. Discipline practices still need to be in place to deal with egregious behavior, but positive reinforcement techniques can encourage simple good behaviors, even in older students. The rewards may change, however.