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STUDENTS are being gifted with popcorn, pizza and even iTunes vouchers in a radical behaviour change program sweeping Victoria’s schools.

More than 300 of the state’s primary and high schools have introduced the new rewards system, where pupils are offered morning teas, time sitting on beanbags and even the chance to be “principal for the day”.

One school has seen discipline infringements drop by almost half in just over six months, reports Herald Sun.

The program has been hailed for its ability to boost student morale and discipline, but one critic fears pupils may only become motivated by rewards to do the right thing.

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The “positive behaviour framework” has been to more than 300 Victorian schools.

Some versions reward well-­behaved students with tokens to be traded for food and other gifts.

One Melbourne University Associate Professor Kay Margetts said while tangible rewards were a good tool to get difficult cohorts of students to start to behave, they should be reduced at the earliest opportunity, so that pupils became internally motivated to do the right thing — not just because they were getting a reward.

What do you think of this concept? Should children be offered incentives to change their behaviour?

Share your comments below.

  • I don’t think this is anything new. I’m not sure I’d go down the route of iTunes cards but perhaps for an end of year award as something substantial to work towards.

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  • Rewards have always been given by teachers and schools. Children and adults all respond well to praise and rewards. A positive change is a good change and less disruption to classes is surely a good outcome for students, teachers and schools.

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  • Ooh, tricky. I think it’d be okay if it was used very sparingly.

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  • It’s rewarding good behaviour, so I don’t have a problem with it.


    • Exactly – children and adults all work well for rewards and incentives.

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  • I agree with Kay Margettes comments.

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  • Personally no, but as a teacher if it works then use it!

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  • I think there is a time and a place. Also, some students need it more than others. If your child is one of the intrinsically motivated ‘others’ then you are blessed.

    Such programs also exist in the intervention schools in South Australia. Kids with all sorts of academic, social (including bullying), family and economic household issues. They all affect outcomes and sometimes having something that is a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel can help them see their way through.

    Good on those schools for implementing programs for those kids who really need it the most.

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  • My daughters school does this, as a result they are having a pizza party today for being the winning class last term… Do i agree with it though, not really. Children need to be taught at home what is expected of them

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  • Is this any different to someone being offered a bonus at work for achieving _____xyz?)

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  • For some kids doing the right thing and behave is normal, for some kids with problems this is not. For those who struggle with doing what is right and behave, it might be good to work with a reward system. But when this is the case it might be good to consult a counselor or psychologist about this.

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  • This is a shocking outcome to bad parenting in the first place. If a little bit of respect was taught to the child, then teachers would not have to bribe children to be good.


    • It is not necessarily always bad parenting. It could be a mental illness for which a child is seeing a pshycologist and has been for some time. It could be undiagnosed Autism or Aspergers. In USA they are often diagnosed around the age of 2 and therapies started part time and gradually increased. A friend of mine took a 2 year old to therapy on a regular basis for a year while working over there. In some cases Aust. doesn’t attempt to diagnose a child until he/she starts school. I know of cases in both countries. Rewards would be for achievements, not sure about behaviour.

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  • I am not sure this is the right motivation, but for some kids it could do the trick.

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  • What about the kids who do the right thing and behave? I shouldn’t imagine they will be happy watching disruptive kids being rewarded when they toe the line. Perhaps the teacher should be asking the parents of disobedient students to do more to discipline their child/children before they enter the classroom.

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  • I believe incentives and rewards are a positive way to teach children good behavior, however they should have to work for hard for it, and teach them we don’t get rewards for every thing good we do.

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  • I think if parents were teaching their kids to behave properly and respect education in the first place then nobody would need to find creative solutions to disruptive students.

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