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Pay students to be good??

March 8, 2006

The latest government ‘good idea’ which, if the BBC website is anything to go by, is meeting almost universal derision.

Actually, this isn’t as radical an idea as many would think. I was a teacher until about two years ago. We gave certificates for 100% attendance, then book tokens. We were encouraged to praise good (i.e. normal or expected) behaviour in the classroom and some of my colleagues practised this to what I thought was a nauseating extent.

The trouble is: it works. It does encourage good behaviour from some of the majority of normally well-behaved kids who might otherwise have allowed themselves to copy the antics of the badly behaved minority.

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