I saw several posts about collective awards or punishments (a pizza party for a whole grade school class for perfect attendance, the charter school with the perfect attendance/lecture combo).
I honestly have never understood *why* this was (and still is) used in school settings. I mean, it makes sense for a collective *group* (like band, orchestra, chorus, teams for sports) to be rewarded as a group for a job well done (daughter plays in band, they had state contest today) or penalized (middle son's baseball team has to do sprints for dropped balls when they're doing drills). But classroom settings don't make sense to me, at all.
Maybe, too, my thoughts are influenced by my own experiences. In junior high, we were sentenced to "silent lunch" (no talking whatsoever allowed during lunch, there was no recess), and it just went on and on so long that it was like the norm, rather than a punishment (because if someone talked during silent lunch, we'd get more days tacked on, but it would be multiple days for a single infraction, or maybe it was something like two people [i.e. both halves of the conversation] would each get a day added, so one conversation was a minimum of two days. It was ridiculous.
In grade school, they would make an entire class stand in line during the whole of recess (also, no talking or fidgeting allowed) for the infractions of a few members of the class (like 2 or 3 out of the 30).
Those things, I suffered through, although it caused me to have very little respect for the adults imposing the punishment--not that I was outwardly defiant, but I felt that it was extremely unfair and that there was nothing that I could do to change the situation.
Except for the time when I was in third grade. (Recounting this story to my children now, they said "Mom, you were a renegade"). My regular third grade teacher was removed mid-year (I learned years later, as an adult, that it was due to alcoholism) and replaced with a long-term substitute. I loathed the substitute, not only for not being my 'real teacher' (to whom I was rather attached, and the no-warning removal was as upsetting to me as if my teacher had dropped dead in the classroom) but also because of her "classroom management" techniques.
There was the lesser level, which I was able to manage on my own. Her idea was that a bright student who finished early should be made to help the slower students. The worst was with math, which came right before recess. If the math work wasn't done, you had to stay in for recess. So if you were helping another student and the other student wasn't done, you both had to stay in (which led to a lot of hissing "the answer is 56, just write it down already!" "come on, write down 56, let's get done! I don't care if you don't understand, just write it down!") In my defense, I was 8, and didn't really understand why what came so easily to me was hard to get for someone else. In the end, I learned to pretend to still be working so as to avoid having to help someone who would cost me a recess (unless we were standing in line, in which case I didn't care, but still didn't resolve the issue that I couldn't really explain the math other than just 'here's the answer, write it down' which sure didn't help that other child in the long run).
The worst, though, was when she brought in the two trees with ribbons. The project was announced that for any misbehavior (talking in class, not turning in homework, etc), a ribbon had to be removed from the tree. When all ribbons from one tree were gone, the side of the classroom with ribbons still on their tree would get to have a pizza party, the side of the classroom with the bare tree would have to sit on the other side of the room watching the pizza party and doing math problems. Well, as it happened, the worst behaved boy was on the side that I was on, so of course, the tree for my side of the classroom got emptied first. Yet, during this entire project, I hadn't removed a single ribbon personally (the boy in question had personally removed about 75% of the ribbons, and there were a lot of kids who had removed one or none, personally). Well, it was announced "tomorrow, 'team ribbon' will have their pizza party, and 'team bare tree,' you will be doing a lot of math problems." Well, here came my one moment of standing up (the renegade comment from my kids), and I stood up and objected and said that it was not fair, that I personally had not removed a single ribbon and there was no way that I could stop [named by name 75% boy] from talking in class or make him get his homework done and turned in--furthermore, [named the name of a girl on the other team] had personally removed 20 ribbons, which was more than all of the rest of us on the team combined; therefore, this wasn't fair, and using collective punishment and rewards was unfair to those of us who had behaved and were punished as well as being unjust in that those who had misbehaved were still getting the 'good behavior' reward. In the end, there was a pizza party for the whole class the next day, though I don't remember if 75% boy and 20-ribbon girl were allowed to participate or not.
So honestly, where did this idea come from (for classroom use)? Is there even *one* example of a classroom use resulting in the formerly always-misbehaving child have improved behavior?