While An example of this would be

Whilethis may seem like an abstract idea, it has become very common amongstteachers. An example of this would be reward charts, stickers, free play timeetc. Anything really that teachers use as motivation for good behaviour withinthe classroom. The student quickly learns that if they behave in a certain waythey will receive the sticker, free play or whatever the teacher gives out forgood behaviour, completion of homework, being friendly etc. They also learnthat if they don’t behave in the conditioned way, they will receive apunishment e.

g. they won’t have the time off or may lose a sticker or againwhatever the teacher uses as punishment. This in theory, does sound like a verygood idea.

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But as Skinner himself has said, it doesn’t really reinforce self-discipline,the student becomes relient on the motivation or privileges from the teacherand or other individuals. This can in turn then cause problems as the studentmay become unwilling to cooperate in activities that won’t give them a rewardor they may result in demanding a reward for every action that they do. Whichof course isn’t how the real world works and we are teaching the students togrow up to be respectful, functioning adults. Although used in moderation and withcareful consideration, it can be useful to the child’s academic and social process.Theschool in which my case was on going, they decided not to use these rewardssystems in the classroom. The teacher believed that the students would becometoo focused on the reward and forget about the principle behind the rewardsystem, she also said that the class was too competitive and any reward systemwould cause additional conflict in the class.

So she believed it wasn’t worthdoing. Although they did have an overall “smiley” reward system in the school.The class as a whole, collected smileys from other teachers – especially theteachers who specifically taught them the additional subjects, such as Danish,art or P.E if they taught they were behaving well or were working hard etc. themain classroom teacher wasn’t allowed to give them the similes. They wererarely given, so it was a big deal if they received one. The whole school hadthis system in their class and at the end of the year, the class with the most simileswon a pizza party or something along those lines. This proved quite effectiveacross the school, this would be a good example of moderate use.

As thestudents never knew if they were being watched. If a teacher just happened tosee the class being friendly in the playground, they would take that intoconsideration, but the students were never really acting nicely or working hardjust to get the smileys as they were so rare.Anothertheorist who I feel was applicable to my case was William Glasser (1925to 2013) and his choice theory. He developed the term choice theory in 1998.His theory simply states that all we do is behave. He suggests that almost allhuman behaviour is chosen, as in we choose to do whatever behaviour we feellike. He also states that our choice is decided by genetics to statisfy fivebasic needs that he has decided on. These five needs are survival, love /belonging, power, fun and freedom.

In his theory, he believes that the mostimportant need is love /belonging because he feels being connected with otherpeople is needed as fundamental basic in satisfying all of the other fourneeds. This links into the classroom as this theory shows that the classroomshould be a satisfying place for students. Across the world, his choice theoryhas changed the way that many teacher deliver their lessons / instruction.

Glasser,identifies the teacher as the leader of the classroom. He believes they need towork hard and effectively if they want to have successful students. He says thattheir role is have the students understand that by working hard in school /home is worth it in the long run, i.e. acceptance in college, internships etc.Which in turn will have a positive and successful influence on their lives.This is slightly different than Skinners theory where the students immediatelyor almost immediately see the reward (extrinsic motivation), this theory ismore based on intrinsic motivation, influenced by the teacher.

 This leaves the question then of how does theteacher achieve this level of motivation for their students. Glasser says, youcan try and create positive relationships with the students. Have the studentsbecome comfortable with you, while of course maintain professional boundaries.So that they feel they can come to you as the teacher for mentoring andsupport. As well, the teacher can create relevant learning experiences that thestudents can use to demonstrate their success within your classroom. Howhis theory applies when developing lessons: When a teacher decides to practicechoice theory, they have to design the lesson in a way that satisfies the student’sneeds. Glasser believes that this will allow the students to learn more andincrease their activeness within the classroom while reducing the amount of disruptiondue to interest in the lessons.

He believed that students are able to connectand feel a sense of power or freedom and enjoy themselves in a safe learning environmentwhen teachers design lessons in his way. 1.      Coercion: “Coercion is the practice of forcing anotherparty to act in an involuntary manner by use of threats or force.” (Wikipedia – Coercion, n.d.) He believes thatthis is minimized because it never inspires quality.

He believes that studentsaren’t designed to behave using reward and punishment systems such as Skinners.Instead he believes that teacher should build up positive relations with thestudents and be an inspiring leader instead.  2.      Quality: When the teacher focuses on quality, theexpectation increases.

They expect mastery or a high level of understanding ofthe given concepts and encourage the students to re do their work and continuetrying until they have demonstrated a certain level of competence and highquality work. While to some teachers this does seem harsh and de – motivating. Thestudents learn that they are capable of high quality work, they have a deeperunderstanding of what they were learning and in turn this will result in bettergrades thus in turn earning the benefits that come from higher grades and agood work ethic.3.      Self – evaluation: In this choice theory, self-evaluationis common. Students are provided with the information from the teachers andthen they take ownership of their learning by self-evaluating their own performance.

In turn this promotes independence, free thinking, responsibility and it helpsthe student reach their goals while becoming efficient decision makers who takean active part in their own learning and education. Ithought this theory was relevant as it shows a theory in contrast to Skinners.Skinners theory is more based on extrinsic motivation and Glassers theory ismore based on intrinsic motivation. Glassers five basic needs that aresurvival, love / belonging, power, fun and freedom seem to fit into my casefairly well.

When I think about the student and what he was doing or in whatmanner he was behaving it really does fit into these needs. Especially the love/ belonging one that Glasser states is the key need. The student in focus wasdealing with a divorce, the teacher had said to me that she believe the studentfeels that he is blame for his parents to split up. This ties into love /belonging need, he may have felt his parents didn’t love him enough to staytogether and this left him with a feeling of where he belonged as he wanted tobe in Germany with his dad but as well he wanted to be in Denmark with hislife, friends and mum. This unsettledness resulted in a lot of turbulentbehaviour stemming from these basic needs.

As well with the power, fun andfreedom needs, I saw that a lot of behaviour also came from these needs. WhichI will explain further in my analysis. Ihave looked at Skinners theory from the early twentieth century, Glassers fromthe end of the twentieth century and now I will look in Alfie Kohn’s work from2006. Giving a few different theoretical perspectives from different timeperiods over the last 80 years.


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