Study Rewarding Good Grades May Be Counterproductive

10.13.09 | FL News Team

Rewarding students for doing well in school doesn't necessarily motivate them to achieve more. That's the finding of two professors at Ohio State University. Lynley Hicks Anderman, an associate professor of educational policy and leadership and her husband, Eric Anderman, a professor of educational policy and leadership have penned a book titled "Classroom Motivation." The book offers research-based advice on how teachers can motivate students. It does not involve trophies or stars or other common offerings that the authors say can be counterproductive and could lead to less learning and more cheating. The Andermans say a lot of teachers don't truly understand how and why students are motivated, even though they know it's important.

The authors claim teachers can make a big difference but student motivation should come in the way classes are structured, students are evaluated and classroom activities are designed. Too many rewards, they say, are handed out for everything and anything so don't have a lot of value.