Nudge for Schools

Prologue

This book is about how people think and come to make decisions. Additionally, it advocates the use of Nudge Theory to influence how decisions and choices are made. We deal at length with the practical application of Nudge Theory in schools. We believe that the use of Nudge Theory has the potential to improve school cultures and student outcomes using the art of gentle persuasion. What, then, is Nudge Theory? Nudge Theory, when applied, seeks to elicit changes in people’s behaviour through what is known as ‘choice architecture.’ Essentially, choice architecture involves designing and presenting a range of options in such a way that individuals are nudged, or persuaded towards, choosing the designer’s preferred option. The aim in a school setting is to avoid, as far as is reasonably possible, hard enforcement of mandated and desired behaviours in favour of achieving the same results by offering guided choices and nudging individuals in the right direction. Nudge, as we have set out to present it, acknowledges that schools are already in the business of persuasion, and brings the art of gentle persuasion, Nudge, to the fore as an agent of change and development.

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