Positive Behaviour for Learning


Why don’t we have merit certificates at Margaret Hendry School?

We believe in supporting the development of character in children and fostering a moral imperative to doing what is right, simply because it is right. We support children to understand the impact that they can have on themselves and others through their choices and actions, both positive and negative. We work to develop intrinsic motivation, and do not support the use of extrinsic reward systems. You will not see, medals, ribbons, merit certificates or prizes being provided to children to recognise a good behaviour choice or to encourage competition amongst children.  Dan Pink, author of Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us, identifies seven drawbacks to extrinsic rewards: they cripple intrinsic motivation, limit performance, squash creativity, stifle good conduct, promote cheating, can become habit-forming, and spur a short-term mindset. This aligns with our vision for personalised learning and supporting a notion that all learners can be successful in their own way and in their own time. Recognition of success is based on children’s individual growth.

References:

Alfie Kohn The case against competition and Punished by rewards

Dan Pink Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

https://vimeo.com/208855799 - Dan Pink on motivation and rewards

https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/48578/how-ending-behavior-rewards-helped-one-school-focus-on-student-motivation-and-character