Monday, October 13, 2008

Cash for Grades

Courtesy of GeekDad comes a story of another school district (Washington D.C.) paying their students for good grades and behavior. I understand the motivation behind this. Money is a powerful motivator. Look at what we are doing with many of the militias in Iraq. Still, I think it is a bad idea. The children aren't going to strive for good grades for the sake of good grades; they are going to strive for good grades for the money.

Now I know I can be altruistic when it comes to things like education. I love learning for the sake of learning, but I realize that I am in the minority. Still, I think we can find better ways of motivating children, things like more individually geared curriculums so that students spend more time on things that appeal to them. Not every kid needs to go through algebra or multiple years of literature as much as we would like to think they should. Tweak the classrooms to the individual and not the group. Have more intangible rewards like field trips or a longer recess.

Money is too easy and ultimately teaches a bad lesson. Don't do sometime unless you are getting paid. Is that what we want our kids to grow up learning?

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