Friday, July 18, 2008

Chocolate Bribery - YAY!

Michelle - thanks for sending me this terrific article! This is a great story about a UK school - check it out and then we'll discuss.

Chocolate bribe turns round primary school
By Tom Peterkin

A school, which was criticised for offering chocolate in exchange for good behaviour, has confounded its critics by producing excellent exam results and not having a single exclusion in the last three years.

Andrew Sheppard, headteacher at Recastle Furze Primary in Thetford, Norfolk, had incurred the wrath of dentists when he launched his plan after his pupils had 65 exclusion days in the 2004/05 academic year.

Dr Sheppard offered the "bribe" to his 240 pupils when he gave them a 40 pence bar of chocolate if they made it to half term of the Autumn term in 2005 without anyone being suspended.

His tactics led to an outcry from the British Dental Association, which said the move flew in the face of the Government's drive to take junk food out of schools and did nothing to help the children's dental health.

Even though the school is in one of the country's most deprived areas, it has been turned round with 85 per cent of his pupils achieving level four (the second highest grade) in this year's Sats tests.

The incentives system was extended so that children were given a free school disco at Christmas, a hog roast at the end of the summer term and a chocolate button Easter egg in the spring if they could maintain their no exclusions record.

Dr Sheppard said: "I feel vindicated. A 40p bar of chocolate is not going to make children obese or rot their teeth. It is providing them with an incentive that they value. Some people said that I should give them a carrot instead, but they are not donkeys.

And like a carrot would work - please! You go, Andrew Shepperd! I say the British Dental Association needs to get the hell over itself. Andrew Shepperd rocks!!

After I read this, I Googled chocolate and bribery. There's a study about college professors who were evaluated higher if they offered students some chocolate before passing out the evaluations. (Well, duh! You give me chocolate and I will love you!)

There are more articles about choclate bribery - using it to get over 50-year-olds to go back to church, using it to get women to read maps better - apparently the applications are endless! And get this - some of the college students didn't even take the chocolate - it was just the offer of it that influenced their behavior.

People love chocolate. For most of us, as soon as we hear the word we perk up. We think of happy childhood times, of delicious flavors, textures and smells. I've said it before and I'll say it again - candy can save the world! Give people chocolate and they'll follow you anywhere!

1 comment:

Heidi said...

I think the US military should drop giant bags of M&Ms from planes that fly over the breadth of the Middle East ... Then we announce to the region that more of it is coming if everyone shakes hands and is nice to each other.
I wonder how long it would take for peace?
Maybe Congress should appropriate funds for a Chocolate Budget. Then every time some place in the world goes beserk, we could just fly over, drop the chocolate, tell everyone to cut it out, behave, and then they'll get more chocolate... and see what happens.
I bet everyone will be happier!
Egad, I think I've just solved the problem to achieving WORLD PEACE!
Send this idea to your Congressman before it's too late!