2017

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29 Nov: Reward Systems

When we try to get students to change their behavior we often take a “motivational approach.” We find something the student wants and offer that as a reward for doing well. People use the term reward to talk about something that you get after you have done what you are supposed to and reinforcement to describe something that occurs in the moment to make a behavior more likely to occur in the future. Thus, a reward for doing your work might be that, when its done, you get some extra free time. A reinforcement would occur while the student is doing their work and might include verbal praise, being handed a prize ticket (etc…). There’s a problem with this “motivational” approach: If a student doesn’t have…

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12 Jun: Does Fear Work To Motivate Students?

“If you don’t learn this, you aren’t going to pass…and you aren’t going to graduate with your class.” How many times do we as educators say something like the statement above in hopes its going to be the thing that gets a student working? Maybe we use it because we as adults are often motivated by our own fears or maybe its because we think its a quick way to motivate someone. Turns out fear isn’t a great motivator at all. According to a study done at Edge Hill University in Lancashire, England teachers who used fear tactics like the one above to motivate students were less effective and produced students with less motivation and lower grades (School Psychology Quarterly, April 2014). Remember the old…