The Secret to High Teacher Ratings? Cookies.

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Eat your hearts out, educators. A new study suggests that the promise of cookies is all it takes to convince students to give teachers high ratings on end-of-year evaluations. Researchers asked professors at the University Hospital of Muenster in Germany to randomly hand out cookies to some students before administering these surveys, and found that hands greased with cookie dough were more likely to praise the teachers, the teaching materials, and the quality of the course.

Since these surveys can influence curricula, not to mention hiring and funding decisions, one implication of the study is that it’s probably time to place less stock in how students evaluate their teachers. “This is a totally inadequate tool to…

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