Pay for Grades: Should Parents Bribe Kids in School? – TIME

April 15, 2010

Motivation in Education

This article is an interesting read, and a great example of the motivation science highlighted in Dan Pink’s book Drive.

In a number of experiments aimed at getting kids to do better in school, students were paid for certain outcomes.  Some students were paid for attendance, grades, and even test scores.  But the results were mixed.

As Dan Pink outlines in Drive, the motivation to perform low-skill, simple tasks was positively affected by the extrinsic motivator of money.  But when students were assessed on longer term, high-skilled tasks such as standardized tests, there was no noticeable improvement.

It is a lengthy article, but it provides an excellent example of using extrinsic motivators in education.  As we try to apply the concepts of autonomy, mastery, and purpose to education, this article is a great reminder that we should be careful using extrinsic “carrots” as a motivator.

Pay for Grades: Should Parents Bribe Kids in School? – TIME.


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