University of South Australia researchers say Class Dojo promotes an archaic approach to discipline and likens it to China’s social credit system.

“If we look at the fundamental basis of how China’s social credit system works, we see similarities with Class Dojo,” the study’s lead author Jamie Manolev said.

“They both rely heavily on surveillance, rewards and punishments to reinforce behaviour and convert behaviour data into a score. Those scores are being used to determine what happens to students or citizens.”

Mr Manolev, who is also a primary school teacher, said some schools were using Dojo scores to decide whether students could participate in recreational activities. A student might miss out if too many points are deducted for late homework or talking out of turn.

He said the app was popular because it provided teachers with a “quick behavioural fix”.

But according to Mr Manolev, the technology sends a damaging message that children should behave appropriately just because they might receive a reward, reports SMH.

On the flip side, he said it sends a message that a student shouldn’t misbehave because they might be punished.

This, the researchers said, erodes self-motivation and the development of self-regulation.

“This carrot and stick approach to discipline is all about controlling students through the use of rewards and punishment as opposed to educating students about what good behaviour looks like,” Mr Manolev said.

The researchers are also concerned displaying the scores in front of the class encourages unhealthy competition between children.

However a Class Dojo spokeswoman said the research lacked the perspective of teachers and used misleading and alarmist phrases.
She said the app helped teachers recognise and encourage positive behaviour. The spokeswoman said a recent survey revealed 90 per cent of Australian teachers believed Class Dojo had made their classroom a more positive space.

“Academic researchers and theorists have put judgement on something that millions of teachers, families, and students get positive value from every day,” she said.

“We suggest the authors of this report spend time in the classroom with teachers, as we have done from the start.”

She said the app also made parents feel more connected and engaged with their child’s school.

We have shared before – The Downside of Behaviour Charts That You Need to Know About. Read more on that here.

We have also previously shared how schools need to the dangers of technology like Seesaw and Class Dojo and how it can impact family violence victims. Read more HERE.

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  • We use the Dojo app extensively across our school and no one complains about it. We don’t use the negative points though.

    Reply


  • I’ve not heard of this before. It might make it controlled in the classroom but what happens when they go out into the playground? Hopefully it is better than it looks.

    Reply


  • Don’t know what I think of this.
    I don’t like the displaying the scores in front of the class and think it may encourage competition indeed.
    And the reliance on surveillance, rewards and punishments to reinforce behaviour and convert behaviour data into a score, doesn’t sound healthy to me.
    I don’t like the use of punishments, but rather think actions and consequences.
    And using rewards and punishment as opposed to educating students about what good behaviour looks like, will be less effective I think.

    Reply


  • Kiddos school uses it, as did her last. We love it
    The only things i see them scored on is helping in class, trying hard, good attitude, really positive stuff
    Never seen homework scored. Never seen work scored in that sense, even trying hard is just that, not trying hard in maths.
    We get notified of posts, easy to talk to teacher, see pics from class, its not fb

    Plus, this bit “sends a damaging message that children should behave appropriately just because they might receive a reward,
    And
    sends a message that a student shouldn’t misbehave because they might be punished”

    The same can both be applied to say religion with the whole heaven, hell stuff. Yet no public calls or research of its damage

    Reply


  • Don’t know much about this and I hope they had extensive research before they started using it but I think we should be teaching good behaviour and morals for their own sake.

    Reply


  • Yes ClassDojo can be unuseful and I am not a fan, but the teacher at our school use it to show parents what is happening in classroom.
    I love seesaw that is just an app for showing parents what kids are doing in class we use that in out prep-grade 2 and I love seeing what my kids get up too during the day, it is not used for discipline at all. And if something g is put in my sons account only I can see it unless other parents are tagged in it…our teachers also use it to send home messages for us.

    Reply


  • I don’t know this app. I don’t think kids should be publically “scored”.

    Reply


  • I like the app and I think it’s great if kids are misbehaving they will get a demerit point how else can the class be controlled by the teacher and kids learn good behaviour

    Reply

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