Posted by: Linda | 2010-02-07

Demerit system for high schools

Please advise on the value - or lack thereof - of introducing a demerit system to a functional and achieving school. How will adolescents react to this ystem?

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Our expert says:
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This sounds rather like an attempt to get me to write a student essay !

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Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2010-02-08

We had a demerit system when I was in high-school and it was an utter and complete joke. None of my classmates cared when a teacher gave them a demerit. This doesn' t mean that they weren' t mostly well-behaved in class though. During my matric year I went through 6 demerits - What happened? I was suspended from school for 2 days. 2 Days doing whatever I like and not having to go to school - is this punishment? We didn' t think so....

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Posted by: Inquisitor | 2010-02-08

Adolescents lack the capacity to understand a demerit system. Sure, they know that smoking costs you 10 points (or however schools count them these days), but does ANYTHING really happen? having a black mark next to your name means nothing because no-one ever mentions it when you leave school, nor do employers care either way. Corporal punishment is a far superior way of immediately creating a link between inappropriate behaviour and unpleasant consequences. But if you' re too " enlightened"  for hidings, detention is a fair substitute. The trick is to punish them using a tangible method. Black ink hasn' t scared anyone since the middle ages.

Reply to Inquisitor
Posted by: Karla | 2010-02-07

Throughout my whole school career, both primary and high school (both high schools I attended), we had demerit systems. And it is of high value. It teaches the teens that if you misbehave, don' t do your homework, etc you get a black mark on your name. It teaches them that they have to follow the rules, etc. in order to be successful. I mean, in the real world if you don' t do your work or misbehave at work you get warnings and may even get fired so they need to earn from a young age.

Reply to Karla
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-02-07

This sounds rather like an attempt to get me to write a student essay !

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