Saturday, January 12, 2013

What happened to that discussion about stickers, prizes, and gimmicks?

Following up on yesterday’s post: Here is a comment from earlier this week, by VickiS:
The point here is that, ultimately, you want your child to choose to behave properly because it’s the right thing to do. You help them learn over time that doing the right thing has inherent rewards. Doing the right thing makes you feel good about yourself. You have friends. You earn the respect and trust of others, etc. Doing something simply to earn a privilege (the cell phone contract) or a reward (PBIS) or to avoid punishment (from an authoritarian parent)cheapens the acts and doesn’t seem to promote true moral development.
Is this really so controversial an opinion that it should not even be discussed? Only to the school district.

When our school board chair ran for the board, she told this blog:
I have never been a believer of stickers or prizes used to reward students for good work or behavior. Students should be motivated to feel the intrinsic worth of doing a good job on their schoolwork or doing a good deed. Students are capable of feeling pride in their accomplishments without prizes. Students are naturally curious and should get excited about learning without all the gimmicks. There are times when classes need to celebrate in some way for accomplishments or great deeds that the class achieves. But these celebrations would not be done on a regular basis. Once again, this is not a decision for the school board to make but it certainly can be a discussion with the Superintendent so that he can pass on the discussion with the school principals, who in turn can discuss the issue with the teachers.
Why a district-wide behavior management program isn’t “a decision for the school board” is a mystery, but if those discussions with the Superintendent, principals, and teachers ever occurred, you sure wouldn’t know it. A year and a half later, PBIS continues in full force.

Related post here.

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