Sarah Mia

Sarah Mia

I'm not a teacher, but an awakener. - Robert Frost

  • Sarah Mia
    Published about a year ago
    Are We Smarter Than Rats?

    Are We Smarter Than Rats?

    Working as a school psychologist I have learned that we have become very behavioristic in our raising of children and in dealing with them in school. Kids don't behave and work anymore because it's the right thing to do, because it's good for them, or simply because it's what's expected of them. They do it for rewards. The attitude is, I have to get something out of it or I'm not going to do it. Everything is contingent, just like the classic rat studies we learned about in our general psychology class. We should be proud of ourselves. In our sophistication, we have lowered parenting and education to the level of training rats. Many parents and educators of course would disagree. They would explain that along with the rewards and incentives, they tell their kids that they should do something because it's the right thing to do. Parents would tell you that they teach their children such things as values, doing for others, and doing the right thing, but their actions speak differently (source). Classrooms today are fueled by rewards, and parents are told to use them. The more of a behavior problem a child has, the more rewards or incentives are offered to him. Sure the schools do incorporate some type of negatives (can I say that word?), such as time-outs, going to the office, losing points or privileges, but the carrots of rewards are always dangled. Basically, they are bribing their students and children to behave. They tell the child that if he stops being naughty they will reward him. It makes you wonder who is in control. And the same cycle often happens at home. Going back in history, do you think our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were rewarded for behaving appropriately and doing what was expected of them? Let's be honest. Of course not! If our ancestors had to be rewarded the way kids are today, humans would be extinct. So why are kids today different?