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Ever wish your students were more motivated? If you’re like most of us, you have tried an array of rewards and punishments to motivate kids. There’s only one problem: it doesn’t work. At least it doesn't work well enough. People (yes, even students) aren’t motivated from the outside so rewards and punishments only work to a point. We are internally motivated. That’s why it's essential to engage and inspire students to be motivated to succeed in school (and life.)

If you’re ready to move beyond the reward/punishment model and embrace a whole new way to understand motivation, I encourage you to come back regularly. It’s time to challenge the status quo and create schools and classrooms based on what really motivates behavior.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Merit Pay: Some Preliminary Findings

Just read the following today in Education Week: “Preliminary results from a Chicago program containing performance-based compensation for teachers show no evidence that it has boosted student achievement on math and reading tests, compared with a group of similar, nonparticipating schools, an analysis released today concludes.”

Compare this expensive (and divisive) strategy to that used by Michael Anderson in Indianapolis (see the May 31 posting below).

When we build relationships and a collaborative environment with kids, they thrive. When we implement competitive reward systems, kids don’t do better while staff morale suffers. A successful model is cost-friendly. A failed model is expensive. Are those in positions of power really "data driven"?

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