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Rewards Positive Reinforcement or Long-run Punishment Great job Heather This is a phrase most people would think I would be happy to hear at any time and at any place In todays schools the idea of positive reinforcement is used to foster and increase a students particular behavior that in turn leads that student to learn any given theory It is a key concept in behavior analysis and is said to have occurred when three things have taken place first a consequence is presented dependent on a behavior second the behavior becomes more likely to occur and third that behavior is likely to occur only because that consequence was presented dependent on that behavior However according to Alfie Kohn both rewards and punishments are ways of manipulating behavior that destroy the potential for real learning In the following paper I will be presenting both sides of the coin in the argument over whether or not rewards are an effective motivator or counterproductive to true learning If one goal of education is to produce people who are capable of educating themselves then students must learn to manage their own lives set their own goals and provide their own reinforcement Woolfolk p225 The idea behind this quote is fundamentally correct however the means of getting to this level of self-management may be called into question When Anita Woolfolk discusses goal setting as an important phase of self-management she states that some research suggests that setting specific goals and making them public may be the critical elements of self-management programs Woolfolk p226 The problem with making these goals public is that if it is done in a classroom full of children it then creates an atmosphere of competition Children may then lose focus on the reasons for reaching particular goals and begin to do them in order to beat another child Another issue with offering rewards is that the behavior used to accomplish a particular
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