Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Topic 3: Incentives to Attend School

We have talked about the incentive (benefits) and disincentives (costs) in class. After watching the video "Incentives for Perfect Attendance", think about how schools attempt to get students to go to school. What are some of the incentives schools use? What about disincentives? Which do you think are stronger incentives for getting students to attend school, rewards or punishments? Why do you think so? What about at your own school? What kind of incentives do you have to attend school? Are these incentives effective? Did your behavior or that of other students change because of the incentives given at PAS? Why or why not? What do you think is the goal of the schools in the video? Is it the same as the goal at PAS? Why do you think the incentives used by the schools in the videos are so different from the incentives used at PAS?

  • Some incentives that schools use to motivate students to go to school includes academic and physical rewards. Academic rewards are generally talking about a higher grade, or better standardized test scores. Attendance also contributes to participation grades in class. Physical rewards may be prizes such as laptop computers and cars (which is the example used in the video "Incentives for Perfect Attendance". Disincentives may be when the student has better alternatives such as a stable job, or the need to be somewhere else, such as finding work to support his or her family. Stronger incentives for school are definitely rewards. As in psychology, punishments usually create negative emotions and negative feedback, and sometimes they may backfire and result in a decrease in school attendance.
  • For my own school, our incentives to attend is mainly self-motivated; we want our academics to be strong so that we can get into a good college. This incentive is pretty effective for a society like Taiwan, because many Taiwanese students believe that education is very important and values education a lot. If there are punishments such as missing days in our curriculum, our behaviors usually change because we care about it.
  • The goals of the schools in the video is to get good school attendance so that the schools can get federal funding from the national government. This is a different goal for PAS because PAS is a private school and it wants its students to get into good colleges and universities instead of getting funds from the government.

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