Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)
February 07, 2001, Wednesday
Day-tripping 'Rewards' out of hand
SECTION: Editorial; Pg. P4A
LENGTH: 446 words
WHEN a busload of
It turns out that they had been to see a movie at Marquee Cinemas. Not some educational film, mind you. They saw "The Emperor's New Groove," an insipid Disney cartoon with zero educational value.
So why were
According to Eyre's analysis of county travel records, some
"In December, we did one movie for a school every day," said Rob Thompson, manager of Marquee Cinemas. "We had so many in December, my brain was fogged. It was just nonstop."
Speaking of fogged
brains, why are
In the new high-tech economy, the maxim is: What you earn depends on what you learn. Only the well-educated who score high in knowledge skills will achieve good careers. SAT scores aren't improved by watching Disney cartoons.
Some principals defended the movie trips. Many students have never been to a theater, they said. Sometimes students watch movies based on books they previously read, they said.
What, like those
literary classics "102 Dalmatians" and "
Usually, though, the movie outings are simply rewards for good behavior, principals said. Students who get good grades, keep their attendance up or otherwise please their teachers, get a movie, bowling trip or other outing as an incentive.
Rewards for good behavior are fine, although psychologists warn that overemphasizing such rewards implants the wrong motives in pupils. Kids should develop a desire to learn, just for the satisfaction of acquiring knowledge.
Even more importantly, though, students shouldn't be wasting valuable and scarce instructional time watching movies, shopping or bowling. If schools want to reward students with activities that have no educational value, the activities should be held after school hours or on the weekends. Or, at the very least, on Faculty Senate days, when students would ordinarily have the day off.
We have our suspicions, though, that these "rewards" are as much for the teachers who get out of class as they are for the students.
LOAD-DATE: February 08, 2001
Copyright 2001 Charleston Newspapers