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Exam One - Writing

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  • Financial Incentives for Higher Grades

    Many educational experts along with teachers and parents have long debated the best way to get students who underperform in school to do better. Some blame the school system, others say more qualified teachers or smaller class size will make the difference. Recently, it has been suggested that what is lacking is the right incentive for kids to study hard and get better grades. One such incentive that has been put on the table is money.

    First, if children were to receive money in exchange for scholastic improvement, it provides them with an immediate and concrete reward. The result of their hard work is tangible and therefore, much more valuable than any other abstract reward such as self-esteem or praise from teachers and parents. Studies have shown that children perform much better in many different kinds of situations when they are motivated by a ‘prize’ that they can see and touch and immediately get a hold of if they do well.

    In addition, setting up a system in which students are financially compensated for their hard work is excellent preparation for the real world. Job markets are ruled by money, and the goal of every working person is to be paid for their work. Children who grow up understanding how hard work equals financial reward will have a much better chance of being a successful member of the workforce. Not to mention the added benefit of learning the concepts of earning, saving and responsibly spending money.

    Finally, this kind of system would create an upward spiral of achievement. The initial incentive to do well and to be rewarded leads to an impetus to do even better next time. Eventually, the standard of performance will be very high, and students will no longer need the financial reward to get better grades because a new culture of success and achievement will have been created. The expectations will be raised to the point that failure is no longer an option.