The systems that I design and support for schools and districts generally entail the use of rewards for achieving goals, especially with students. Why? Because it works. What is interesting is that lots of teachers and administrators hate this. Their first comment is, “well, anybody can bribe someone to do better.”
Which always causes me to wonder why someone would drive their school into the ditch instead of trying everything and anything to get better?
Their next comment is generally, “you are just rewarding them for doing what they should be doing.”
To which I respond, “Exactly. You have to reward people for doing what they are supposed to be doing. Especially, students. The key to changing behavior is to reward the things you want to see more of and ignore the things you don’t want to see.”
For anybody who continues to argue that the use of extrinsic motivators is somehow wrong, I just ask them to donate their next paycheck to the district, since obviously they come to work everyday just because it is the right thing to do.
Think. Work. Achieve.