Moving away from awards, rewards, & punishment


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A description of a school's movement away from extrinsic motivators. Designed to encourage dialogue at Edcamp Fraser Valley 2011.

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  • Staff willing to try new things, staff meetings are 75% PD... Solid, reflective SPCPrevious principal did her thesis on student motivation.Are we perfect? Nope Are we there yet? Nope?
  • Change the lens – story of Dom
  • Awards Ceremonies:Started before I was at the school with parents and staff. Changed in 2010Why the change?School goalSilly process... Lots of kids watching a select few of their peers get honoured for select skills that we deem more importantStudents come with advantages and disadvantages – environment and factors beyond controlREAL WORLD – really?What do we focus on – do we honour just a select few?If awards are the only motivator, what does that say?We force kids into a game that was never meant to be played as a game.. .then we decide (and argue about) the winners and losersInteresting concept... If everyone else loses... You win.
  • Moving the focus from grades to process of learning –ongoing, no endpoint, no select “club”, why do we need to all arrive at the same time?Tom Schimmer – anxiety, losing streakPurposeWhat do we do now? COS Assemblies, Gr. 6 Celebration – 2-3 strengths and/or interests of each child – focus on effort feedback (growth mindset)We DO NOT want to take away from those who would have been award winners... We continue to challenge and honour them but we ALSO challenge and honour those with skills in different areas.
  • DISCLAIMER – my view (entire school does not feel exactly the same)Reward systems work – short term – they get people to do things they would normally not want to doWhen we use rewards – the focus shifts from the process to the reward (Deci and Ryan)REWARDS DO NOT TEACH – I tried the rewards thingCatching kids being good – look at me – surveillance – story of “Ashley”The only type of extrinsic reward that I encourage is meaningful praise based on effortGiving rewards is easy – forming relationships and providing feedback is much more difficult.Judy Cameron vsDeci and Ryan
  • We expect students to do the right thing... Not for any reward but because it is the right thing. Set the bar with modeling.
  • The other side of the reward – negative extrinsic motivation – punishment. Based on control and fear.When a child struggles in reading, we supportWhen a child struggles with behaviour, we punish. Story of “Jason” Previous principal: Restitution, relationshipsEffect of different mindset – decrease in incidents, behaviour IEPs,
  • Lagging skillsCollaborative Problem SolvingRelationships that include student and parent voice in developing the solution.Teaching/learning focused
  • Effect of different mindset – decrease in incidents, behaviour IEPs, 0 suspensions - increase in leadership, collaboration, positivityChange the lens – look for the strengths and the positives. Children should not be going through school being unaware of their strengths and interests... It is up to them to help them to see them and encourage effort in this and other areas.
  • Moving away from awards, rewards, & punishment

    1. 1. Moving Away From Awards, Rewards, & Punishment Chris Wejr @mrwejrImage:
    2. 2. Story of Kent Elementary School
    3. 3. Strength-based vs Deficit-based
    4. 4. Image:
    5. 5. Moving FromHonour Roll toHonour AllEvery child has agift. It is our roleto discover andnurture this gift. Dr. Lorna Williams
    6. 6. My issues with rewards in school...
    7. 7. Doing theright thing...just becauseit is the right thing to do.
    8. 8. Students need teaching..... not punishment. Image:
    9. 9. Kids do well if they CAN. -- Dr. Ross GreeneImage:
    10. 10. Relationships... Feedback... Work WITH Students... Honour... Reflect...
    11. 11. It is not our job to motivate students; it is our job to create the conditions in which they motivate themselves.1. How do we create the conditions in which EVERY child is honoured in their areas of strength and challenged in their areas of struggle?2. How do we work to move away from rewards and punishments so we create the conditions for students become more intrinsically motivated?