This story in The Washington Post is an interesting (though not totally unexpected) twist in the debate over rewarding kids in schools. Apparently schools in the greater Washington area are rethinking the way food is used as a reward for good behavior. Giving students sweets for doing well sends students the wrong message about nutrition, says the article. Instead, teachers are turning to other methods of rewarding students--like allowing them to be first in line to recess, said one teacher.
Regardless of what students should and should not be rewarded for, in light of rising childhood obesity rates and the nutritional struggles many children face, I think this is a great idea, although the commenters don’t seem to agree with me. While I don’t think it’s fair to blame childhood obesity on a treat here or there from teachers, it can’t hurt to get kids in the habit of eating healthy and seeing food as a way to keep the body nourished rather than a reward.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.