Alfie Kohn in his book “Punished by Rewards” is warning teachers about the dangers of rewards being doled out to their students. He is proposing that the popular theory of rewarding positive behavior is only a contrived way of controlling students. We as educators are not doing the students any favors by rewarding or punishing. Ultimately he makes the claim that “rewarding is punishing.”
I am defiantly intrigued by Kohn’s ideas, but I wonder how they would fit into a classroom that is already preconditioned to search for praise by years of schooling under their belt.
Alfie Kohn needs to speak up about this recent NYC program.
Below I excerpted from today's NY Times:
"Cash incentives for adults will include $150 a month for keeping a full-time job and $50 a month for having health insurance. Families will also receive as much as $50 per month per child for high attendance rates in school, as well as $25 for attending parent-teacher conferences.
The city has already raised much of the $53 million it needs for the program, Ms. Gibbs said. The effort, which officials said was the broadest ever tried in this country to pay poor people to develop good habits, is modeled in part on one in Mexico."
Below is another link: