Re: grades

Marcy Bauman (marcyb@UMD.UMICH.EDU)
Sun, 25 Aug 1996 23:55:54 -0400

Thanks to Bob for providing some bibliographic information about the
deleterious effects of grades . . . I'd like to add my own personal
favorite, which is Alfie Kohn's _Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with
Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, As, Praise, and Other Bribes_ (Houghton
Mifflin, 1993). Kohn provides citation after citation -- the book has a
32-page bibliography -- of research that shows that people who are
rewarded for doing tasks not only do them more poorly than people who
aren't, they also cease to do the tasks when the rewards are withdrawn.
It is a scathing, compelling indictment of what Kohn sees as our absurdly
behaviorist notions about education and human motivation. (I wanted to
extract a small snippet here, but it's too dense to be able to excerpt


Marcy Bauman
Writing Program
University of Michigan-Dearborn
4901 Evergreen Rd.
Dearborn, MI 48128

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