Thursday, December 22, 2011

Point Systems

Extrinsic reward point systems often end in probability based rewards to reduce cost.  The more points in for the week, the higher the probability of winning a prize.  Like most extrinsic reward systems they have instant impact and then reduce gradually over the year unless continually renewed.

The system though is fairly one sided and lacks the concept of the win/win.  It's more the instant gratification/self gratification than something based in development of values, delayed gratification and development of the caring person.

I'm wondering if we could extend the points system to make a true currency of it.

Kids value when extra input is put into the classroom, they value when they can help someone else, they value when their effort contributes to something bigger, they value things that may help them improve.  Or at least this is what we want them to value.

What if kids could:
donate points towards a teacher doing extra PD to bring a clearly stated idea back to the classroom (points not generated in that classroom)
donate points towards the charity child (and the school converts them back to cents/dollars)
donate points towards the house points competition
donate points towards evaluating an overseas event
donate points towards a school speaker / event

Kids want ownership of their environment and these sorts of ideas help them get a feeling of self worth by expressing their value beyond themselves.  The feeling of self worth, I think, is a key goal.

Our kids are in an interesting place, I think it might be timely to investigate avenues for this type of idea.

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