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Thursday, February 23 • 2:15pm - 3:30pm
Rethinking Rewards and Awards in Schools

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The vast majority of our students enter our schools in kindergarten with high motivation to learn but as they progress up through the grades, motivation and engagement tends to fade. Due to the many challenges facing our schools, educators often resort to a variety of incentives to try to motivate students to learn and improve behaviour to help create the optimal learning environment.  Schools also try to encourage students to excel by offering certificates, plaques, and trophies to those who do better than others. The use of rewards can become part of a school culture and awards are generally steeped in tradition… but what if we have this extrinsic motivation strategy all wrong? What if these tactics work in the short term but cause problems in the long term? What if there are students that go through our schools with strengths that are not valued nor honoured? Is there a better way to create the conditions for long-term motivation? Is there a way to move away from awards so more students are honoured, more students feel connected, and there is a more positive, inclusive school culture? 

This session will challenge participants to rethink the use of incentives and awards; Chris will encourage you to look at ways to create the conditions for students to motivate themselves, including rethinking reward systems and traditional awards ceremonies. Participants will be challenged reflect upon their current views of human motivation and come away with ideas and strategies to move toward a more inclusive culture and increased intrinsic motivation for students in their classrooms and schools.

avatar for Chris Wejr

Chris Wejr

Principal, James Hill Elementary
Chris is a father of 5 year-old twin girls and a former high school PE/Science/Math teacher and volleyball coach. He currently works as a teacher/principal of James Hill Elementary in Langley. Previous to this, he worked as a teacher/principal in the community of Agassiz in which... Read More →

Thursday February 23, 2017 2:15pm - 3:30pm MST
Main Stage-Arts Center