A Good Example of a Bad Approach to Classroom Management

photo credit: www.smartclassroommanagement.com

While there are a few classroom management strategies that prove to be inadequate or futile, there is one in particular that meets the greatest level of disapproval, the token economy. This strategy is one in which students are rewarded tokens for good behavior, also known as expected behavior.

Within an educational setting, a token economy is a system for providing positive reinforcement to children by giving them tokens for accomplishing tasks or behaving in the right way.

What is the alternative to using a token economy?

This method of ignoring misbehavior and rewarding surrounding students good behavior can be viewed as cruel and demeaning. Instead of inspiring real change within students and creating a lasting impact, this method just momentarily curbs their behavior.  You are basically deceiving the children into doing what you want them to.

The message being sent is that expected behavior (that which is minimally required for achievement in school) is praiseworthy.  This turns what should be inherently rewarding into a form of work in which students deserve to be compensated for.  This does not set them up for living in the real world.

Instead, simply be open and straight-forward with your students.  Make sure you communicate your boundary line of behavior.  Provide opportunities for kids to learn from their mistakes and only praise what is actually exemplary.  Look for genuine progress, and then let them know you noticed that they did an exceptional job.  No more bogus praise or bribery.  To do anything else will set kids up for a big letdown.

For more about what classroom management method to NOT use, read the original article here:
One Of The Worst Classroom Management Strategies I’ve Ever Seen