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negative use of reward system

(13 Posts)
Bronte Sat 02-Jul-11 15:23:23

6 yeard old D reminded me to return her reading book otherwise a previously earned merit would be removed.
I put a lighthearted comment in her reading record recounting what she'd told me, suggesting she had made this up.
A written reply came back saying this was going to happen in future because so many children were not returning books on the correct day and it impacts on time spent changing books. It was done with the intention of making them more responsible.
Surely there's a better way to achieve this than by removing a reward. I would have thought this was regarded as bad practice anyway.
What does anyone else think?

moondog Sat 02-Jul-11 15:26:44

Yes it is. There is ambple evidence to show that with behavioural strategies, punsihment/deprivation rarely works.

It coudl easily be turned around by making it a positive thing to bring back books on time (ie earn a sticker/star) as opposed to a negative one of losing something that you have already earned by not doing something.

Not good practice.

Bronte Sat 02-Jul-11 15:29:07

Thanks moondog. I've already typed up my reply to the teacher suggesting positive persuasion methods. I'm just rather taken aback as she is a young NQT who you would think must be ultra aware of good and bad practice.

startail Sat 02-Jul-11 15:53:12

I think this is liable to cause resentment. My dd2 is organised I am notblush. The fact that she can't find and hasn't got time to look for her reading book is not necessarily her fault.

LeoTheLateBloomer Sat 02-Jul-11 18:48:38

I'm a primary teacher and have never come across this kind of system (except when i was at school...)

Is it possible that the NQT has come up with the idea thinking it's brilliant and her head and mentor are unaware? Or is it school policy? Might be worth finding out.

LeoTheLateBloomer Sat 02-Jul-11 18:49:02

Bollocks. I not i blush

tethersend Sat 02-Jul-11 18:56:33

It is very important that any reward is secure for it to retain its efficacy.

Making a previously earned reward 'insecure' by taking it away, means that the child may not trust any future reward and see little point in striving to achieve one when it can be so easily removed.

skybluepearl Sat 02-Jul-11 19:50:50

shouldn't they be aiming to give an extra reward for giving book in?

Bronte Sat 02-Jul-11 22:19:07

All valid points. I hope school don't validate this kind of thing. Will find out next week. If they do not sure where to go next.

2kidsintow Sun 03-Jul-11 20:39:45

If the class teacher responds in a way that indicates that she isn't going to budge, then your next port of call would be a phone call or letter to the headteacher to ask whether this is a school wide policy now.

Penalising a y5 or 6 for not remembering things is more realistic, but a y1 child? Over the top in my opinion.

Bronte Sun 03-Jul-11 23:11:18

Friendly but firm letter ready to go to the teacher. I just feel quite disappointed and surprised by the turn of events. Nice young teacher who seems to have a good rapport with the children but then makes this glaringly bad decision.

RoadArt Sun 03-Jul-11 23:40:43

Hopefully this will help remind your child to ensure her reading book is put straight back into her school bag so that she doesnt forget it. She needs this to be a set routine so that it becomes automatic.

I fully understand that children need to take responsibility for their books, and sometimes it takes a stark wake up call for them to realise it is important that books must be returned.

From a listeners point of view, it does get annoying when books are not returned on time, and it is usually the same children. If books are not returned on the right day, then quite often it means they dont get listened to or issued new books. (Then parents complain about this.) For classes where the range of books is also limited, it means the books that are in peoples houses are not being circulated.

However, as long as the threat causes the child to take responsibility and return their books then that is fine. If it means they lose a reward that they have earned for something different I disagree with this. The teacher needs to use a different punishment/incentive.

Bronte Mon 04-Jul-11 10:31:16

I quite agree with all your points RA and this was very much the reason given for resorting to desperate measures. Very much hope that the threat works for those habitual offenders and it doesn't have to be carried out.But reading is a partnership activity between adult and child so I feel the children will be getting the blame for something their parents need to take responsibility for. If the book isn't being returned because the parents aren't listening to the child it's not the child's fault. That's the only reason I can think of for a book not being put back in the bag. Everyone seemed to remember in reception unless it wasn't made an issue of?

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