Questions to Ask about Using Rewards

Bob Sullivan of Woodbury Connecticut poses some interesting questions for teachers who plan on giving rewards as bribes to influence behavior.

1. When you use reward, who does all the work? (The teacher or the student?)

2. What rewards will appeal to my students?

3. Can I assume every one of my students will be satisfied with my choice of rewards?

4. Where would I buy them and how much will they cost ?

5. Since rewards are more effective if they are given immediately, how will I handle presenting the rewards?

6. If the target (incentive) is too difficult for some students and they just give up, how will I handle this?

7. If some don’t achieve the objectives what will I do?

8. Do I reward for effort, and if so how, will I determine if the student really tried?

9. Could my decisions seem unfair to some students and negatively affect the level of trust?

10. Will using individual rewards increase my workload?

Also, a prime question to ask is, “If a student does all that is required, and for some reason does not receive the reward, will the student feel punished by the disappointment?”