Should we pay kids to learn?
Harvard Professor of Economics Roland Fryer Jr. conducted an experiment to determine whether offering children money for doing well in school would help them perform. The results were varied but promising.
There’s something that tastes immediately sour about this prospect, wouldn’t ya say?
I can’t help but think of an assembly line comprised of children rushing madly to produce as many sprockets—or in this case “A”s—as they can. Think Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp in Modern Times, or Mr. Jetson. I picture cheating at a level never yet seen—kids sabotaging each others’ Scantrons, parents texting quiz answers to their kids’ Blackberries, teachers accepting bribes from their little capitalists-in-training.
What goes forgotten in a hyper-capitalist culture is the value of currencies other than the green-paper variety. What’s more, competition is not the only mechanism for motivation to which humans respond.
I’ve got some ideas about what, beyond competition, motivates us, but my list is painfully incomplete. So far I’m thinking….
~Oral & qualitative encouragement
~Recognition of real-world application
~The good kind of peer pressure
~Desire to please/succeed
My question to you is this:
What, other than competition, might motivate children to do their best?
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July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.”