The magic of motivation

The carrot or the stick? Instructors at three educational facilities – Northoaks Main, Chung Cheng Superior (Yishun) and Dunman Large College (Senior Large) make a case for good reinforcement.  They demonstrate us the benefit of enjoyment, games, and cheer in encouraging fantastic conduct in learners

By Jacquelyn Ng

The learners at Northoaks Main College capture sight of their Willpower Master from across the foyer. Quickly, they seize their possessions and stand up.

With hastened ft, these students joyfully make their way to Mr Rizal Marof, the school’s Subject matter Head for Willpower. “’Cher, seem at how lots of stamps I’ve gathered!” they announce.

Each and every stamp represents an occasion the scholar demonstrates a positive conduct. When they accumulate a particular range, these stamps can be exchanged for a prize.

Curious about the affect of these types of favourable reinforcement endeavours on college students? Below, three universities – Northoaks Primary, Chung Cheng Higher (Yishun) and Dunman Superior School (Senior Superior) – notify us how this performs out in their university.

Northoaks Primary University: Let us spin the Wheel of Thrill 

Mdm Jorina Ho applied to rush her son to get prepared for faculty. “But now Hao Zhe wakes up early on his own and would like to be punctual everyday,” she says of her Most important 2 boy or girl. “This is all for his likelihood to accumulate stamps on his video game card.”

Northoaks Main encourages college students to practise good habits by finishing difficulties, identified as “quests”. All learners are supplied a card that contains “quests” these as coming to faculty on time. Other “quests” need a total-course exertion, this sort of as listening attentively to classes. For every single done “quest”, pupils get a stamp on their card, awarded by their teachers. 

There are also “Quest Zones” in the course of the faculty. For instance, pupils who abide by instructions though waiting in the lobby can obtain a stamp from the teacher on responsibility. 

Northoaks Primary_foyer_2Just one of the Quest Zones at the school’s foyer with a checklist of worries that earn stamps.

These stamps can be exchanged for a spin at a wheel for prizes from stickers to tender toys – all of which are donated by mom and dad and academics.

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A prefect assisting to guy the “Wheel of Thrill”. Learners can ‘redeem’ a spin by accumulating stamps on their activity cards.

Mr Rizal Marof, the school’s Head of Office for Pupil Management, suggests the quests ended up carried out in August 2022 as a way to market and strengthen fantastic behaviour this sort of as punctuality and accountability. “After 1 phrase, we noticed a 30-for each-cent lessen in late coming,” he states. 

“Teachers also gave comments that their college students practised silent reading each individual morning, and cleaned up their individual house prior to dismissal. Most students are enthusiastic to meet up with the expectations to get the stamps and rewards.

“More encouragingly, pupils retain up with the good behaviour even when there aren’t materials advantages. For occasion, even when there is no instructor on responsibility, there is appreciably significantly less sound at the foyer, and college students can also be witnessed reading quietly.”

Northoaks Primary_stamp cards_4
Academics can customise the icons on their stamps, which motivates some pupils to gather diverse stamp icons.

Northoaks Primary_Mr Rizal_5
Mr Rizal at the redemption booth that ‘opens’ every Wednesday for pupils to exchange their stamps for a prize.

“Students’ want to generate factors or ‘win’ the activity encourages sought after behaviour like becoming neat and tidy,” says Mrs Hee Jun-Lynn, the school’s Vice-Principal. “This tactic, as opposed to staying reactive and punishing students for their poor conduct, will go a lengthier way in sustaining and motivating our college students to retain carrying out effectively.”

What about bad conduct that persists? 

“Depending on the instances and the character of offences, disciplinary consequences these kinds of as detention or suspension would nevertheless be carried out, as a previous vacation resort,” she points out. “These are for severe offences and recalcitrant offenders, to enable our learners understand the penalties of their inappropriate steps and poor decisions.”

Chung Cheng High College (Yishun): ‘I was caught remaining good’

Chung Cheng Higher University (Yishun)’s initiative is cleverly titled “I Was Caught Currently being Good”. 

When a trainer “catches” a scholar undertaking great further than what is envisioned of them, the scholar is awarded a “ticket”. Good actions may involve heading out of one’s way to be a beneficial buddy, or serving to a trainer cleanse up a classroom.

In its place of a “fine”, at the back of the slip of paper is a observe from the trainer on the thoughtfulness of the act. But it doesn’t end there. The parents and type academics are informed of this form deed, with each other with the school’s University student Administration Team.  

The college students are then affirmed publicly all through early morning assembly and their great acts publicised on the Television set display outside the house the General Business.

This initiative gives mom and dad a opportunity to acquire excellent information also, says Ms Desilu Anne Nair, the school’s Head of Division for University student Administration. She adds that it is a good alter for all those who are utilized to acquiring terrible information.

“For case in point, we ended up happy of a student who volunteered to remain back to clean up the D&T home. We knowledgeable his mom about the ticket he acquired, and she was pleasantly astonished. This initiative also allows to strengthen our household-school partnership and foster much better ties with our mom and dad.”

Ms Kwok acknowledging Cayden’s effort and hard work and thoughtfulness by a handwritten observe at the back of the ticket.

Ms Desilu continues, “This new initiative which focuses on optimistic reinforcement of very good behaviour and exhibit of faculty values, is a refreshing welcome to academics and college students. It helps to produce a safe and sound place for learners to increase, make faults and discover from them.

“Teachers have come to be much more open to affirming excellent behaviour, somewhat than just emphasis on catching and correcting lousy conduct. Pupils are also encouraged to display the school values in and out of the classroom, as properly as kindness, graciousness and civic-mindedness.”

Dunman Significant Faculty (Senior Significant): A weekly Pleasure and Honour Ceremony

These initiatives at constructive reinforcement continue on at JC-amount. 

At Dunman High College (Senior Substantial), the overall faculty participates in the Delight and Honour Ceremony just about every Friday. Throughout the 30-minute-extensive ceremony, the school shares and affirms university student achievements ranging from sporting to the academic. Faculty leaders also use this opportunity to thank learners for the events they have organised.

These may be additional publicised on the school’s Instagram. In 1 occasion, a university student was counseled by a member of the general public for administering well timed very first help to a media write-up permitted the scholar to pen his experience and hopefully encourage some others with his general public-spirited act.

Mr Jason Chen, Head of Office for Character and Citizenship Education and learning, reflects that “these initiatives generate a culture of affirmation in the direction of the wider faculty community” and “ can help to create an atmosphere wherever learners choose satisfaction in sharing in the joys and successes of their peers”

“These initiatives go a extended way in allowing pupils know that as a university, we cheer 1 an additional on by difficult situations, and share successes jointly.”

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