This video with Daniel Pink made me think a little bit about what teachers do to try and motivate students. I think it is common for teachers to use a ‘points system’ to motivate students. If a student succeeds on a task they will get points or stars and after a certain number of these they can cash them in for a prize. What Pink is saying though, is that these motivational factors don’t work. Studies have been done over and over again and the results continue to be the same…

individuals being offered a large cash prizes for performing a task do worse on the task than individuals offered a much smaller prize. These points systems that are sometimes used with students then, are irrelevant. Offering a student a prize for completing a task isn’t going to ensure that they do any better on it. Don’t you think if students could do something they would? Children don’t want to look incompetent and they don’t want to be wrong. If a student is having trouble performing a task we shouldn’t be trying to motivate them with an extra recess, we should be helping them work through their tangle.

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