Why do we have prizegivings?

I’ve been pondering as we enter prizegiving season – why we even have this ritual?

Is it benefiting all students, celebrating all students, being inclusive of all? Please don’t get me wrong, this is not the moan of a parent who thinks their child should have received. In fact my children have received awards and sadly been the recipients of nasty comments.

Is it not more important to teach children the value of intrinsic motivation, to love and value what they are doing? I really worry about the demotivation of those children who perceive that they will never achieve a ‘prize’. Does it really matter and are we showing that we value all by having prizegiving?

Are there other alternatives and what is the pedagogy behind this ritual?

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