Length: 1800 words (excluding reference list)
Overview: The aim of this assessment task is to (i) learn about the complexity and interactional nature of child development, and (ii) consider implications of this development for professional practice. You will do this by considering a specific aspect of development. You will choose one of the two topics below. You will review contemporary research in this area and make suggestions for teachers in preschool and/or primary school.
You teach a Year 3 class. A parent of one child, James, has contacted you because James has expressed reluctance to rejoin his dance team. You are aware that James has previously competed in dance at a high level (even starting in preschool!), and you wonder if gender is playing a role. You decide to investigate the peer-reviewed scientific evidence.
Summarise and critically evaluate the findings of at least FIVE research studies that examine children’s engagement in sport/exercise and the role of gender and self-concept.
Based on the research studies you have reviewed:
You are the centre director at a newly opened early childhood centre. You have talked to several of the local primary schools (K-6), who inform you that they all use merit and reward systems to promote positive behaviour in their school. One school uses sticker charts, one uses rainbow charts (where red = poorest behavior and violet = excellent behavior), one gives silver/gold/ diamond awards, and one uses Class Dojo to give virtual rewards. Despite the prevalence of these reward systems, you are not sure how well they are supported by evidence. You want to know if you should implement such a system for your preschoolers. You decide to investigate the scientific evidence.
Summarise and critically evaluate the findings of at least FIVE research studies that examine the effectiveness of reward systems in contributing to prosocial behaviour and social development in preschool and primary contexts.
Based on the research studies reviewed:
Marking Criteria for Essay
Criterion 1 (3 marks): Introduction and conclusion
The opening paragraph provides information about the topic to be addressed and an overview of evidence to be presented. The concluding paragraph provides an accurate summing up of the evidence considered.
Criterion 2 (4 marks): Selection of research articles
At least 5 relevant peer reviewed research articles have been used in the essay. Articles selected clearly support the primary focus of discussion. Any review articles are ‘over and above’ the 5 peer reviewed research articles.
Criterion 3 (6 marks): Knowledge of content and research
Each research article has been read in depth and the findings of the studies described are integrated. An important component of this criterion is an attempt to consider the interrelationship between studies and their findings, rather than only considering each study individually. Reporting of the findings is done in the context of the methods used. For each study, brief information is provided about the participants (e.g. age) and methods used.
Criterion 4 (4 marks): Use of evidence
Literature is used appropriately throughout. Specific findings of each research article are reported, not the background literature presented.
Criterion 5 (4 marks): Implications for practice
Identifies two implications for early childhood practice arising from the research findings.
Criterion 6 (5 marks): Referencing
Provides references in text and in the reference list that conform to APA (7th edition) guidelines. Assignment complies with university Academic Honesty policy.
Criterion 7 (4 marks): Argument, organisation and planning
The essay offers a coherent, well-planned and logically developed discussion in response to the question. Each paragraph has a clear main idea. Ideas are presented in an engaging, concise and accessible style. There are no difficulties with spelling, grammar and vocabulary.
Types of articles. Your chosen articles should appear in peer-reviewed journals and report studies with children from pre-school and primary/elementary school. If more broad information is also relevant (e.g. an article from high school or from an aligned topic) it is fine to include it if no more relevant information exists. In this case, be sure to note the different context and explain the relevance.
You are welcome to also use review articles, but ensure these are over and above your 5 required research articles
ECHE2180 – Assessment 1
While reward systems are found to be working as a lucrative element in the corporate world, using them in primary school settings becomes subject to debate. In this regard, this essay aims towards echoing the effectiveness of the reward system across the preschool and primary years of education for children. Reward systems are found to be essential when the aim is to increase the productivity and working efficiencies of human beings. In this regard, using it as a threshold for children in primary school can have both types of implications that are pros and cons (Galvan, 2010). However, some of the peer-reviewed journals have echoed that using reward systems in school settings has been advantageous for motivating children to learn more comprehensively. It has been further found that the reward system that is currently being used in primary schools has its link established with psychology and behavioural aspects that echoes some specific impacts of promoting authentic discipline amongst the children in early education and care settings (Stavropoulos & Carver, 2014). Thus, it becomes significantly essential to discuss the relationship between reward systems' good and bad in school settings. For this purpose, this paper will include segments such as an overview of reward systems in school, critical evaluation of five journal articles, evaluating the effectiveness of reward systems, and discussing the implications on the centre.
Overview of the reward system in schools
The reward system currently utilised in most elementary schools has its causes in students' psychological aspects that give explicit accentuation on advancing the great amount of motivation in them. By setting out rules and endorsements just as remunerations for noticing or disregarding them, the school settings can make critical contrasts in the conduct of their understudies for delivering quality education to children. The principal suspicion in such a system is that the students can assess how to behave and what they will get in return (Isnaini et al. 2017). With that said, concerning the aspects associated with K-6 elementary schools, it has been found that they all use merit and reward systems to promote positive behaviour in their school. One school uses sticker charts, uses rainbow charts (where red = poorest behaviour and violet = excellent behaviour), gives silver/gold/ diamond awards, and uses Class Dojo to give virtual rewards. The conviction is that students will try to pick acceptable conduct when it acquires them rewards while awful conduct is rebuffed (Jahani et al. 2011). Thus, the reward systems that are generally being used in the corporate associations can significantly help children to exhibit more than what they can actually do.
In Responding to rewards and sanctions: the impact on students’ sense of belonging and school affect, Dr Mansfield and team have echoed how reward systems help students with providing them effective motivation to perform better (Mansfield, 2017). They have also reflected that rewards and endorses are broadly utilised in schools worldwide to recognise educational accomplishment and learning practices just as energise consistency with school rules and assumptions. Inspiration specialists have archived the adverse consequence of outward control on the sense of learning, inspiration and commitment amongst children in early childhood educational settings. This gives an example of how the outlook and the vision can help implement reward systems for primary school children. But many researchers have conducted studies that echoed the opposite (Chalmers, 2011). However, the reward system can have some drastic implications that might include the sense of competencies amongst children in primary schools. Having a mindset like that might affect the growth of children as human being.
On the other hand, a study conducted by AsheBridge Children’s Academy has stated that reward systems in primary settings can be valuable to offspring with all things considered. Regardless of whether all its track of tasks or advanced specific conduct, reward systems can help kids and guardians be more steady. It helps to instruct youngsters to "acquire" advantages, yet to work, they ought to be age-fitting, and the rewards must be something they need and will work for (ABCA, 2020). This might not be beneficial when the perception includes a long-term vision. Thus, the study conducted by this association opposes the empirical suggestions provided by Dr Mansfield and the team. However, using these reward systems for tween and teenagers can be still helpful as it might help the students and children develop an essential characteristic for life that contains many hurdles. But the fact that children below the age of nine should not be involved in the reward system playlist is still debatable.
In this regard, Adele Devine in SEN: Using Rewards states that a positive approach can help tackle all the challenging behaviours of students; the trick is simple – to offer children the right sort of well-justified rewards for children that age (Devine, 2021). Devine also states that working for rewards motivates and provides structure to the students in early childhood education and care settings. However, it is important to address unwanted behaviours one at a time to understand the analytics in a better way. In this regard, the final thought of Devine is a bit confusing as he states that rewards can never spoil children but might help them develop a sense of getting something in return. This provides a subject to argue the concepts that Dr Mansfield and the team provided earlier, but at the same time, implications are required to be characterised using proper analytics and reports of evaluation.
Further, in their 2018's article, Foundation Education has written that “A student’s poor performance is often attributed to a lack of motivation. In an effort to increase the motivation on student achievement, rewards are given” (Foundation Education, 2018). But the statement is alternated and replicated by the fact that kids yet do not know what they want, and giving them unusual things might spoil them. Since they are not remotely aware of their end goal, rewarding them with stars and recognition might act as non-lubricant in their lives. However, the Foundation Education also stated that a rewards system that fosters consistent behaviour and learning over an extended period might potentially help children to develop a sense of clear goals and vision regarding the learning assessments and healthy habits of education (Adu, 2015). In this regard, activities such as snapshot practice and learning while playing might help them to understand and gain significant knowledge in early childhood education settings.
The last section that has been reviewed includes the article posted by The Highly Effective Teacher to end this segment. The article included segments under classroom management that help educators to assess a clear understanding of what to be used inside and outside the classrooms. The articulator in this regard states that rewards might include small things such as free time, games, being the leader, or anything that does not have any physical entity (THET, 2021). They also stated that educators in early childhood education settings play an important part in developing children as better human being. In this regard, the feedback educators give children below the age of nine helps them acknowledging the fact that how to monitor their behaviour and enhance the capabilities to deliver their own work while competing with others. Lastly, the Highly Effective Teacher's article echoes the importance of assessing reward systems strategically so that effectiveness could be driven more comprehensively (THET, 2021).
Effectiveness of the reward system
It has been found that by applying reward systems in the school setting, educators can encourage proper reactions to the students using a compelling support plan like a strategised reward framework. For this purpose, the teachers and educators in early childhood education settings need to recognise the thoughts they consider ideal just as those who consider troublesome and afterwards set standards which they convey to the understudies (Bahous et al. 2011). The empirical shreds of evidence showing the ideal conduct are compensated, prompting an adjustment to the conduct reward system in different understudies, that have echoed outcomes of showing the ideal conduct. With that said, the reward systems can help children who lack sincerity and consistency when it comes to learning and gaining knowledge about everything associated with their curriculum. Thus, the effectiveness can be assessed with the help of the fact that reward systems in early childhood education settings have helped assess children to develop a sense of learning and growing consistently over the last couple of years. After reviewing all the studies that have included both the positive and negative outlook of reward systems, it is clear that if strategised properly, the reward system can help children learn better and help educators promote healthy habits amongst the children (Willingham, 2021). Thus, the effectiveness is high while the circumstances associated are equally essential. While implementing reward systems in education settings, every group of children should be rewarded differently based on their age and talent. This might help to avoid the issues associated with the sense of competencies in children.
Implications on the Centre
The implications for my centre might include the following –
To conclude, this report aimed towards echoing the effectiveness of the reward system across the preschool and primary years of education for children. For this purpose, this paper has included segments such as an overview of reward systems in school, critical evaluation of five journal articles, evaluating the effectiveness of reward systems, and discussing the implications on the centre. After conducting and assessing all the studies and researches, it has been found that introducing reward systems for children in early education centres can be helpful only when strategised and designed the curriculum in the right manner.