Reward or not to reward?

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Posts: 14
Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 4:24 pm

Reward or not to reward?

Post by ginawirth » Mon May 14, 2012 5:08 pm

After many years of teaching I have found that using rewards (stickers, puzzles etc) to motivate students has worked wonders, in most cases. I am concerned with knowing when and how to impliment a reward system with in my ESL class. I want my students to have a desire to learn english without a reward. The students are enthusiastic about the lessons but I notice that they are most encouraged to participate and achieve accuracy when they see that a reward can be earned.

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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:39 am

Intrinsic or extrinsic movitation?

Post by lek72 » Tue May 15, 2012 3:12 am

Abraham Maslow stated that intrinsic motivation is superior to extrinsic because no matter what extrinsic rewards are present or absent, we will strive for self-esteem and fulfillment. Jerome Bruner went on claiming that one of the most effective ways to help both children and adults to think and learn is to free them from the control of rewards and punishments.

I think that punishments sometimes are necessary for classroom management, but this kind of extrinsic motivation may not motivate the students to learn in our classroom. Instead, I would use other extrinsic rewards (such as praises or positive feedback) to boost their self-esteem or feelings of competence whenever they participate and/or accurately complete an assignment. This type of extrinsic reward can effect intrinsic motivation in a positive way. Other extrinsic rewards (such as prizes and good grades) can motivate ny students to participate or engage in the lesson--if I want immediate participation from the students. (Note: I would not use extrinsic rewards as a mean to motivate the students to learn in my classroom all the time because they might make my student become dependent on those tangible rewards.) However, if I want to motivate my students to become life-time learners, I may want to use intrinsic motivation by creating engaging student-centered lesson plans, creating cooperative learning community, and teaching students how to set long-tem goals and to focus on the big picture--not the immediate gratifications. With both extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation, I believe that I can motivate my students to learn and to retain what they learn today for another 40 years.

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