What motivates kids? This topic is vital to any attempt at education reformation, yet a discussion about students’ motivation is ofthen the "missing piece".
Using rewards can be effective - but like with most things, it must be done WELL and under the right circumstances. Any attempt to reward must factor in: competence, control/autonomy, interest/value, and relatedness.
Many disucssions I have had in the early education community center around ACKNOWLEDGING effort instead of giving compliments for mastery. This is related to the HighScope assessment that teachers are using (http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Alignment_ECSQ-PK_toPQA_353415_7.pdf).
If a reward system is designed poorly, it can actually discourage motivation. Read on for more!