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Glasser The Quality School
The authors discussion on coercion in Chapter 4 seemed to be of most interest to me. The idea that no matter what we may offer as possible punishments or rewards students will not buy into them if they do not mean anything to them. The statement that motivation comes form within not from external forces is something I would like to focus my discussion on.
The above statement has caused me think about what we do to motivate our children in school and as parents. We think if we offer them material things then they will buy into our desires for them, but when you analyze this they may be only buying themselves time and instant gratification that will not change behavior permanently.
As a child my parents coerced me and my sisters with food. In retrospect it never got us to clean our bedrooms on our own rather it made us love food. Was this appropriate, probably not.
Maybe the answer is that the reward or punishment must be directly correlated to the task but I do not know how you would come up with appropriate external rewards for all tasks.
Another thought was that in the past we did not receive rewards for things we were expected to do. I think that children feel they should be rewarded for all of their helpfulness or accomplishments.
I wonder if the The Quality Schools is not only based on idealism, but practical items that have over the years been lost due to our intense desire to increase our childrens and students self-esteem.
This book has provoked much thought for me both professionally and as a parent. I dont feel at this time the ideas brought forward are things that I would implement without careful thought and planning, but interesting none the less.
-- Anonymous, January 06, 1999