When I was a little kid in school back in the middle 40s, I can remember being rewarded for doing good work. I loved it when the teacher stuck a gold star on my paper or workbook, and it made me want to do even better.
I also remember that we had reading groups, and they were divided according to ability. If you were in a lower group and your reading improved, you’d get moved to a higher one.
But over the years I started to notice a change in this merit-for-excellence system. Teachers started giving poor performers more attention, and even rewards, so they wouldn’t feel bad about themselves. I thought, why should an under-achiever get a reward? It didn’t make sense to me. Encouraging and helping someone do better is one thing, but I came to believe over the years that stroking the underdog doesn’t help anyone.
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May 28, 2012 at 10:44
Thanks for reblogging this, Lloyd! I’m just about to check out your pages…