Those looking to improve education by offering rewards for high grades might benefit from a reexamination of their fundamental assumptions regarding human nature. Their beliefs on learning tend to be heavily biased toward a behaviorist view. Common sense (and research) tells us that dangling carrots detracts from the goal of inspiring life-long learning. Unfortunately, some push this pedagogical train wreck to a higher level of absurdity by punishing the body along with the mind:
The McDonald’s restaurants in Seminole County, Fla., and the Seminole County School Board have agreed to reward students for good grades and attendance during the 2007-8 school year with Happy Meals.