Do student incentives give the wrong messages?

As we finish the school year and pack up for Christmas and the summer holidays I’m starting to reflect on what we achieved this year and what’s part of the journey ahead.

We have just finished a 3 year building project which transformed 40% of classrooms and added new facilities in the performing and creative arts and PE and sports areas, completed smaller infrastructure items that add sustainability features to heating and cooling in buildings , completed the first of a four year improvement program which has turned out to be a little ambitious and have just appointed the last of 9 new teaching appointments to the school for 2011.

Like many schools in the area that have had  a stable staff for over 15 years we are going through a renewal phase where over 70% of the 2011 staff will have been appointed to teaching or leadership positions in the last 18 months.

When I interview teachers – and I have interviewed hundreds over that 18 month period teachers often describe how they set up their classroom learning environment and include some incentive program to keep kids on task. Well a viewing of this video might challenge that incentive view of management of learning. At the very least it will create a discussion worth having.

If you think that this is an overkill read the following link where they are paying students financial incentives to come to school. In fact student incentive companies are big business – just do a Goggle search.

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