Monday, September 15, 2008

Preen Away Your Sorrows

From The Globe and Mail (September 8th, 2008):

"It's not just people that commiserate with each other when their team loses a contest - birds will also draw comfort from their friends if they are beaten, The Times of London reports. Green woodhoopoes, an African species, have been shown to bolster morale with group preening after rival gangs defeat them in singing contests. Andrew Radford, of the University of Bristol, England, who carried out this study, said it was the first time animals other than humans had been shown to intensify bonding after a loss. He reported his findings in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society. Dr Radford compared the birds' behaviour to that of football fans who try to outsing their rivals before retiring to the pub to celebrate or commiserate."

And in that same section, an intriguing new approach to motivating your students:

"A handsome teacher in China is offering pupils autographed photos of himself to encourage them to work harder. Ji Feng...is so popular among students that a lot of them were asking him for pictures. 'I came up with the idea of giving them my signed pictures as a reward' for exemplary work, he told the Nanjing Morning Post, 'it is absolutely not narcissism, but a way of encouragement. And only the students who perform the best can get such a reward."

I don't think I'm photogenic enough for that, somehow.

3 comments:

dianeinjapan said...

This autographed photo thing is hilarious! I am totally going to recommend that my husband do the same thing.

Mrs. G. said...

I don't think this work in my classroom. I think I'd be laughed out into the hallway.

sheila said...

Diane, I think you're husband is in the right part of the world for that - something tells me they'd be more respectful than my own children would be if I suggested such a thing.

Mrs. G, never fear, you are not alone. My kids would probably hoot in disbelief if I tried that. Hmm, come to think of it, I might try it as punishment...