Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Movie rewards system

Jon and I implemented a movie rewards system at our school. One challenge of working in a Tanzanian system is that there is no “positive reinforcement” system in place to help students behave. Students are only punished for bad behavior and never rewarded for good behavior. The Tanzanian teachers use corporal punishment to punish bad behavior. That’s the only thing in place here. So, there are a few ways I punish bad behavior. Generally, I include games, songs, and dances into my classes. I take away these things when the class is misbehaving. They get really disappointed. If it’s just one student, I kick them out of class – which ultimately leads to them being beaten by another teacher. I have moved kids to different parts of the room. I have put kids into the corner to face the wall (sans a dunce cap). But, I want there to also be positive behavior reinforcement and that’s where Jon and I decided to show movies. We give out tickets to students that have shown us good behavior, done well on homework or examinations, or try really hard in class. Then, twice a month we show a movie at school and if a student has a “movie ticket”, they can come and watch. We only have 36 tickets to give, so the students need to show really good behavior. Interestingly enough, students are ecstatic and beg for a movie ticket, yet we have had really low attendance. The students who are receiving tickets are not coming to see the movies, even though they whoop for joy when they get a ticket. I hope as this system goes on, the attendance increases. It’s a new concept for the students to be rewarded for behavior so maybe it will take some time for the excitement of the movies to bring out more ticket holders. Of course, when I show a movie, all the other students without tickets are begging to come in. I don’t yet understand why those with movie tickets aren’t coming.
the movie tickets on the side and the general rules to watch the movie.


  1. At least they are excited to get the movie ticket even if they don't show for the movie. So it is not a total waste. Do you show English movies or movies dubbed or subtitles in Tanzanian?

  2. Such a good idea Sara! Be consistent with it and I'm sure you'll gain attendance. Right now it seems as just receiving immediate positive reinforcement is effective enough to improve behavior and that long term reward is secondary! Keep going with the great ideas!