Rewards within the Classroom: Execs and Cons of Tangible Rewards

Are rewards within the classroom an efficient instructing device or do their unfavourable penalties outweigh any advantages? It is a hotly-debated difficulty in instructional circles and the controversy is not more likely to finish anytime quickly. Why do academics use tangible rewards? As a result of they work, not less than for the short-term.

This text will take a look at the professionals and cons of utilizing tangible rewards (sweet, meals coupons, trinkets) to govern scholar habits.


  • These things can shortly change scholar habits. Begin giving sweet to youngsters are answering a query and your participation charges will skyrocket.
  • That is a simple system for college students to grasp. Do what the trainer needs, get a prize.
  • Reinforcement is frequent and rapid. College students do not have to attend to obtain it.
  • Rewards present a short-term incentive to behave or work laborious.
  • Rewards can encourage involvement from college students who usually are unengaged.
  • College students can step by step be weaned off of tangible rewards through the use of intermittent reinforcement.


  • Rewards trigger college students to work for the flawed causes.
  • They solely create a brief change.
  • Fairly than rewards, they typically are literally a bribe.
  • For the reason that trainer normally pays for her personal rewards, it could actually grow to be costly.
  • Not all college students are motivated by the reward you provide.
  • They’ll really be a disincentive. If the reward is given to the primary particular person with the proper reply, many college students could not even strive.
  • Meals prizes are dangerous and must be averted. Your class could comprise diabetics and college students with many varieties of allergy symptoms.
  • Should you cease giving the rewards the specified behaviors could stop as a result of they’re tied to the reward.
  • Rewards encourage an exterior focus. College students be taught as a result of they’ll get one thing bodily for it. The instructing objective is to maneuver college students to the extent of working for inner rewards, akin to the sensation of pleasure attained from doing a great job. Tangibles do not promote this.

I used tangible rewards every now and then and do not see something flawed with that. Generally I might decide a random title from homework papers and provides somewhat prize. It did have a tendency to extend the proportion of homework assignments for awhile. And generally I gave bonus factors to teams who received evaluation contests. To me this simply provides a enjoyable factor to the category. So long as it isn’t anticipated by the children, it is simply one other device.

Making an attempt to implement a reward system on a category extensive degree nonetheless, is time-intensive, costly and finally – not very efficient. It additionally has a unfavourable impact on scholar participation and cooperation in school. Quickly everytime you ask college students to do one thing you’re going to get a refrain of “What can we get?” This may get outdated actually fast!

The very best strategy is to not depend on bodily rewards. Nonetheless, in case you are already implementing a reward-based habits system, start slowly weaning the children away from it. As an alternative of getting one thing for every part, give rewards on the finish of the week. As you do that improve the quantity of verbal reward and encourage them to really feel pleased with their accomplishments.Hopefully, they’ll quickly cease anticipating tangible rewards.

by Barbara A Toney