Is school incentive programs works for students - Essay Example

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Do the school incentive programs work for students? Schools are an important part of the learning and developmental phase of children. They not only learn basic academic skills but provide for an important stage of cognitive development, social skill learning and gaining intelligence…
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Is school incentive programs works for students
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Download file to see previous pages Currently, many schools have initiated incentive programs that provide prizes to students in the form of money when they score well on their exams. These prizes have shown improvement in overall test scores and children’s performance (Medina). The notion of incentive programs in schools is quite controversial and brings up the significance of temporary academic accomplishements in comparison to long-lasting behavorial changes in children. Many schools in United States are increasingly adapting the idea of incentive programs. They have observed that paying for performance is an effective method of improving the students’ attitude and behavior in school. In New York alone, more than 200 schools are experimenting with provision of one or more incentives for both students as well as teachers (Medina). Children who score good, are provided with money as prizes. Children are not the only ones profitting from these incentive programs. Teachers are also provided with bonus money who achieve improving their students’overall scores. Up till now the New York city has spent more than $500,000 on 5,237 students in 58 different schools. Money is not the only form of rewards; meal gift vouchers, gift certificates, food parties at school are some other forms of incentives for the students (Medina). The overall reaction to this new concept is mixed. Many consider it as worth trying and experimenting upon to observe the positive outcomes. Teachers also find it as a good opportunity and are motivated due to the rewards received by them as well. However, the critics consider it as an inappropriate stimulus for the students. Knowledge should be acquired for one’s own sake of learning and self-development rather than a source of money-making and business. Behavorial sciences show that although rewards are somewhat better than punishments but they produce a similar outcome of temporary compliance. Children only show improvement in their behavior until they are receiving the reward. They stop when the incentive is no longer provided. Extrinsic motivators are not helpful in altering the emotional and cognitive commitments of behavior, and even if achieved are not desirable or aimed (Kohn 1,2). The rewards only pursue the acheivment of goals and fail in many cases to induce good values and the sense of “what type of person I want to be”. Many studies have shown that people who are expecting a reward do not perform well than those who are not expecting anything. Rewards do not produce an intrinsic motivation of performing a task and interest of doing it for one’s own sake. Rewards are just a method of controlling a person which ultimatley also alters the relationship between children and adults (Kohn 2,3). Rewards are a way of bribing the children. Children do not acquire any personal interest or internal motivation for the task rather, they are only doing it for the incentive, which affects the quality of their work, their sense of creativity and their sense exploring new ideas. Rewards and incentives are just a method of achieving what a teacher or parents want from the child. Rewards are an obstacle in the way of creating a nurturing, creative and experimental environment for the children, where they learn for their own sake and interest. Providing incentives and rewards cannot produce good values in a child ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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