I recently read an article in the AFT (American Federation of Teachers) newsletter that discussed a very interesting topic; should students be paid for good test scores?
To get down to the point, I have some mixed thoughts about all of this. Paying students can be both detrimental and beneficial depending on the situation. From this, children can learn the value of work = money, but may effect how much energy they put into actually learning the material without forgetting it the next day. More after the jump...
Albeit me not being the best student that I could've been in high school, it was still a rewarding experience. The thought of me getting paid to perform well in school crossed my mind several times, but I never considered it seriously. Education is not something that should be treated in this way.
If this "get paid for good grades" mentality was embeded into children's minds, then I don't think they should attend school in the first place. It'd be better to find a job early and gain the necessary experience to succeed in the future, like in the old days. An education is something one should learn to treasure, as it is a factor that makes the person who they are.
An education to me is more of a journey of self discovery, than anything else. From elementary school, all the way on to high school, a child grows and develops themself while interacting with others. The child experiences all the different subjects and learns what they're most and least interested in, naturally. If this was interupted by forcing the kids to study and do well in everything for a monetary reward, the values of education would be altered heavily.
Of course, one would also argue that a child who's family is struggling would benefit from this. First, paying a student for doing well on an AP Exam would be temporary, and wouldn't be enough to make a significant difference in overall income. On top of all this, I don't see the board of education paying the kids enough anyway. As a lot of us are familiar with, "the more we get, the more we want." Things would get out of hand very quickly.
Basically, it all comes down to the kind of family situation, and how the children are raised and effected by their surroundings. The value of education, money, family, and the future are aspects of life that are both taught by parents, and learned naturally as a child ages. One day when you're relaxed, take your time and think about the values of education, money, work, and the future.
Do you want to be a well developed person that's intelligent, confident, and positive about the future? Well, I sure do! The measures that need to be taken to achieve this are not simple. You should be open minded, and self aware of the things that are going on around you. The most important thing is to know yourself, and what you want. Too many people don't know, and some end up hurting themselves in the future.
You don't need to get paid monetarily to consider being rewarded. The enrichment of your mind from the education you receive is the reward for your actions. Education is something you never lose, and goes with you everywhere, for the rest of your life. Never stop learning, for time is too short to miss out on all the world's greatness.
"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes