The Sunday Times is reporting that the government’s behaviour Tsar Tom Bennett has warned that rewarding children with stickers and gold stars could be counter-productive.
Bennett is quoted by the paper:
“I don’t use sticker charts because I prefer to teach children that learning is intrinsically valuable, not valuable because of extrinsic gain. Rewards like this should be used cautiously, otherwise children learn that good behaviour always leads to a reward. What happens when the rewards run out or no longer satisfy?”
It goes on to outline research in America that has expressed doubt over the value of gold star charts on behaviour, suggesting any impact is only temporary, and quoting “parenting expert” Alfie Kohn as suggesting it is “bribery.”
Bennett goes on to say:
“They’re best used for younger children, for short periods of time in order to maximise incentivisation, and can be very time-consuming… If teachers find this system is strangling their teaching, then it should be jettisoned.”
The report speculates that in Bennett’s upcoming report on training teachers to maintain discipline, he is expected to suggest that applying rules consistently, with sanctions for breaking them, is the preferred approach.
More at: Schools behaviour chief wants to tear up gold stars (subscription may be required)
What do you say – are gold star stickers and charts a worthwhile approach or, as Tom Bennett and Alfie Kohn suggest, are they fundamentally flawed when it comes to creating long-term change for the better?
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