Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Grading Currency

Grades are the currency students sell their love for learning to obtain.

For more on this topic, I suggest reading Alfie Kohn's answer to the question: should we pay kids to learn?


  1. pitiful...really makes me sad about education
    Have we not earned that external motivators do NOT work long trm

  2. money did not improve test scores for social studies and reading in the short term = need more thinking .
    math scores improved - math = most probably more drill.

    external motivators work in the short term not long term and have negative impact if withdrawn

    sad that the teachers/principals see the only reason for learning is to get good grades so you can get a good job

    whether we use money or not to motivate kids , the problem remains - learning expectations defined as good test scores

  3. Apparently this town hadn't read Daniel Pink's book "Drive". It is sad to see that we are training kids to work for a cash out reward system. But we are doing it in so many different areas, using the token economy method to get our students to work. Look at Accelerated Reader. Students collect points and so many schools let them "buy" things with those points. Even Kahn Academy rewards the students for working through its program by earning badges. Is this because not every learning scenario can be project based or exciting? There are skills that we must acquire. Skills that drill and kill practice helps to become seeded in the brain so that we can automatically apply them into other situations without having to pause and think.

    But I have bird walked off course. This clip shows towns paying kids for their work. I want to know why. Who wants to look the best or so smart? Is it the kids, the town, or the school board?

  4. Do we not get paid for doing good at our jobs? The same process applies. If you do good work, you get paid. If you do poor work, no money (i.e. no job) Think outside the box...

  5. Anonymous, your comment begs the question: is learning in school like work in the real world?


  6. I think the same problem would arise in the work-place, actually -- do you work hard just because you get paid or do you work hard because you like what you do and feel it is important, or is it some combination of the two?

    I think though that even if this had a great effect we ought not to do it. Because in general I don't appreciate when people do the right thing for the sake of the consequences. I don't want people who work hard or study just because they'll get something they want out of it. I want people who work hard because they want to work hard and who study because they want to study.

    Paying students to learn, paying people to do their jobs, suggests that these people don't view learning or doing their jobs as valuable in themselves. And then what's the point? At the very least we can't do everything in life for the sake of something else, or there would be no use in living (life would be an absurd joke with no punch-line)...

  7. I mean, put it this way -- if you're going to pay students to learn, why have them go to school at all? Why not just put them in the work-force right away?


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