Local news and opinion reaching the communities of nosara, samarA and Nicoya
Log in |
Return to homepage
home regional community sports entertainment surf nature health en Espa´┐Żol English
December 09
January 2010
February 2010
Water Edition
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 10
October 10
November 10
December 10
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 11
October 11
November 11
December 11
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 12
October 12
November 12
December 12
January 13
February 13
March 13
April 13
May 13
  El Pais
  Inside Costa Rica
  Costa Spirit
  Q Costa Rica
  Today Costa Rica
  El Sabanero
  Nosara Animal Care
  Nosara Info
Esquelita de Nosara
  Friends of Nosara
  Nosara Civic Association
Rethinking extrinsic rewards: Do tangible rewards foster a child’s love for learning? 
By Anna Rita Pergolizzi-Wentworth, DMA Head of School
  In the book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (2009), author Daniel Pink reveals how extrinsic rewards intended to promote more productivity actually decrease the quality of a person’s work and stifle intrinsic motivation or internal drive. Pink’s views are important to consider not only in the workforce, but also in how we motivate our children to learn. The hope that all children will leave school as “lifelong learners” is often a school’s stated or unstated mission. But how does a school’s practice actually help or hinder children from becoming individuals who truly enjoy learning for its own sake? 

According to a number of research studies, the common practice of providing students with tangible extrinsic rewards - such as stickers, prizes, parties, etc. – as an incentive to complete work or engage in tasks, actually undermines intrinsic motivation and diminishes the quality of students’ work in the long-run. For example, one study, which compared the drawings of three groups of pre-school-aged children, found that children who had received a reward for drawing spent about 50% less time drawing than those who had received no award or a surprise award (Lepper et al., 1973).

In addition to a decreased interest (as measured by the time spent on drawing), the quality of the drawings produced by the children who received any type of award - surprise or not - diminished over time whereas the group that received no awards continued to produce drawings similar or better in quality than the initial drawings.

Regardless of age and measures used, numerous studies have subsequently replicated similar results (Newman, 1990; Tzuriel, 1989; Henderlong, 2000): Extrinsic rewards for engaging in tasks actually undermine children’s intrinsic motivation to learn. So why do so many schools and parents continue to use tangible extrinsic rewards? As Pink suggests, the reason may stem from the fact that using rewards is deemed “easier” and that changing an established societal norm or habit requires a serious commitment. 

In addition to commitment, schools and parents may require some tools to begin converting an extrinsic reward-based classroom or lifestyle into one that nurtures a child’s autonomy, sense of purpose, and mastery through intrinsic motivators.

In an effort to support educators and parents wishing to make such a change, here are some helpful tips to foster your children’s motivation and drive: 

  • Be specific and communicate clear learning goals
  • Praise rather than reward
  • Praise persistence
  • Praise trying different strategies
  • Praise personal progress and learning
  • Praise seeking help
  • Praise behavior rather than the child


More Health News

Health Benefits of Sex

Sexuality is an important part of every person’s life. There are many reasons for wanting sexual contact, such as the desire to feel closer to your partner, wanting to start a family or physical attraction. However, in most cases, it is simply because sex gives pleasure. More >


Contact us: NOSARA [email protected] / PUBLICITY and ADVERTISING [email protected]
Copyright 2012© The Voice of Nosara