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Lesson Plans

Re: artsednet-digest V1 #319

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
tgibbons (tgibbons)
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 22:09:04 -0500

>> In response to Joanne L Vanbezooyen,
>> I have an observation on a special education art class. While
>> working with a student, I, as the art specialist and teacher heard a
>> teacher aid reprimand another student for his lack of participation and
>> general unacceptable behavior. The assistant said " Well, there goes your
>> M & M treat!" It did not seem acceptable that to me that a student should
>> be rewarded for behavior with a treat, let alone with candy! Any thoughts
>> from anyone on this? Kathy Black
As an emotionally disturbed art teacher (I used to teach E.D. adjustment
class before finally landing an art job) ... I think that I can say that
tangible rewards sometimes have their merit. Naturally, we would like
all children to work for intrinsic things...but face it, do we as adults
work at jobs that don't give paychecks? (Oops! Don't answer
that...sometimes I wonder if teachers really do get paid!) Kids need
encouragement...and some of them don't recognize praise etc. as a viable
reward, so whats wrong with utilizing something concrete as long as it
doesn't get carried away or overused. I think the best approach is
probably start at the most intrinsic and work your way up until you find
the level at which you get a favorable response and develop
motivation...then make it a goal to gradually substitute intrinsic for
tangible. My students love to do an occassional soda can drawing
(drinking while they draw). Likewise, a candy bar progressive picture
can motivate them to complete the other work they've been neglecting.
It's all in how you develop and manage rewards that makes the difference.
Rewards should be simple and equitable though (and not just singled out
for the special needs kids). Besides, some positive reinforcement makes
for a more positive atmosphere! I'd work for a "mocha latte" anyday!

Terry Gibbons