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Students Perform Better In School When They Are Rewarded Rather Than Punished - IELTS Essay


Students Perform Better In School When They Are Rewarded Rather Than Punished - IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay


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Model Essay 1

The question of whether rewards or punishments are more effective in enhancing student performance in schools is pivotal in educational methodologies. I firmly believe that incentives lead to better academic outcomes than disciplinary actions. This essay will discuss how positive reinforcement stimulates motivation and learning enthusiasm, in contrast to the detrimental effects of punitive measures on student psychology and performance.


Positive reinforcement, such as rewards and recognition, plays a crucial role in motivating students to excel academically. By acknowledging their achievements, students are encouraged to sustain their efforts and set higher goals. Research has demonstrated that reward systems stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of achievement and pleasure. For example, a study by the Department of Education found that schools implementing comprehensive reward systems saw a 20% increase in student test scores over schools that relied heavily on disciplinary actions. This suggests that rewards not only enhance immediate academic performance but also instill a lasting desire to learn and succeed.


Conversely, punitive measures can have adverse psychological impacts that inhibit learning. Punishment, often seen as a tool to deter undesirable behavior, can actually foster anxiety, resentment, and a lack of engagement among students. A notable psychological study revealed that students subjected to frequent punishment reported higher levels of stress and lower interest in schoolwork compared to their counterparts in more supportive educational environments. The fear of failure and subsequent punishment diminishes their intrinsic motivation, which is vital for deep, effective learning. This environment of fear can lead to a vicious cycle of poor performance and more severe disciplinary measures, thus defeating the educational purpose.


In conclusion, rewarding students undeniably surpasses punishment in fostering educational success and psychological well-being. By encouraging a positive educational atmosphere through rewards, we nurture motivated, engaged, and mentally healthy students. Schools should focus on building strategies that reward rather than penalize to realize the full potential of their students.


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Model Essay 2

Educational outcomes are often enhanced when students are motivated by rewards rather than disciplined through punishments. I strongly agree that incentives foster a more effective learning environment by promoting positive behavior and increasing engagement. The forthcoming discussion will delve into how rewards encourage personal responsibility and foster a positive school culture, substantiated by pertinent examples.


Firstly, rewards act as a potent incentive for students to take ownership of their learning. Unlike punitive measures, which can instill fear and stifle enthusiasm, rewards such as praise, privileges, or tangible items, encourage students to associate learning with positive outcomes. Positive reinforcement helps them view educational tasks as opportunities rather than chores. For instance, a study by the Department of Education revealed that students who were rewarded for completing assignments on time showed a 30% increase in on-time submission rates compared to those who were threatened with detention for lateness. This demonstrates that rewards can significantly enhance a student's motivation to comply with academic requirements, leading to better performance, and establishing a habit of consistency and punctuality in their academic endeavours.


Furthermore, rewarding students helps cultivate a positive school culture where academic success is celebrated. When achievements are recognized, it creates an environment that values and promotes learning. This is evident in programs like 'Student of the Month,' where students' efforts are publicly acknowledged, boosting not only their self-esteem but also inspiring their peers. Such recognition not only fosters an inclusive atmosphere where students feel valued and motivated to strive for excellence but also builds a sense of community and belonging among the students. Additionally, positive reinforcement techniques have been shown to reduce classroom disruptions, making teaching more effective and learning more accessible. This enhanced classroom environment allows teachers to focus more on teaching and less on managing behavioural issues, further improving educational outcomes.


In conclusion, the use of rewards in education proves significantly more beneficial than punitive approaches. By encouraging personal responsibility and nurturing a supportive academic environment, rewards not only enhance individual student performance but also promote a healthy, productive school culture.


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