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When I read education articles or discussions of education practices on the internet, a theme that I constantly encounter is classroom management and discipline. Current trends in behavior modification theories and practices have promoted a widespread use of reward systems for social (as opposed to anti-social) behavior that is at odds with my own beliefs about education.
In 1998, our four-year old son was enrolled in a preschool program, and we learned from him one afternoon that at his (church sponsored) preschool they were paying the children for good behavior in play money and on Fridays, allowing the children who had accumulated some “cash” to spend it on toys or candy from the “store”.
My wife and I were shocked at what I still regard as a deeply cynical approach to the education of young children, and withdrew our son from that program immediately.