View Poll Results: Experimenting with Education

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  • Good Idea

    11 37.93%
  • Bad Idea

    10 34.48%
  • "other" Idea

    4 13.79%
  • Ethical

    6 20.69%
  • Not Ethical

    5 17.24%
  • "other" ethical

    4 13.79%
  • Other

    5 17.24%
  • Rootabega

    8 27.59%
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Thread: Education Experimentation

  1. #21
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    Re: Education Experimentation

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Reward based learning is good in general but the realistic rewards should be explained as being realized later in life.

    I think that eventually the effects will taper off and those who would have succeeded anyway will continue to do so, while the others will fall by the wayside.
    I agree with this, as well. But, as the article discusses, how do you get someone to realize a benefit or learn how to change when they, their teachers and their parents have no idea how to go about doing it - even if they really wanted to? I imagine it's not easy.

    A more "realistic" approach would be to set up a fund for students - give them incentives (but not as much $ overall - the amount that was involved in this was ridiculous) and then add to it throughout their years in school - with it being given to the student upon graduation from highschool. . . . or with it simply being given as money for college books and so on (in a controlled way) - without it changing hands and being "my money" would they care quite so much?

    I think ti would be interesting to know, but not worht the trouble to find out.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Education Experimentation

    I see no reason why this wouldn't work or shouldn't be implemented. We've already done this in elementary schools using the "gold stars" and whatnot. It's a reward system just the same.

  3. #23
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    Re: Education Experimentation

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    I agree with this, as well. But, as the article discusses, how do you get someone to realize a benefit or learn how to change when they, their teachers and their parents have no idea how to go about doing it - even if they really wanted to? I imagine it's not easy.

    A more "realistic" approach would be to set up a fund for students - give them incentives (but not as much $ overall - the amount that was involved in this was ridiculous) and then add to it throughout their years in school - with it being given to the student upon graduation from highschool. . . . or with it simply being given as money for college books and so on (in a controlled way) - without it changing hands and being "my money" would they care quite so much?

    I think ti would be interesting to know, but not worht the trouble to find out.
    That sounds like a better alternative, I however hate the idea of the state doing more in education.
    It's my natural reaction.

    The best way to instill a love of learning, is to do it early in life.
    As say this because this is what I've done with my son.

    He enjoys learning for the sake of learning more.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  4. #24
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    Re: Education Experimentation

    As to the particular idea mentioned by that article (paying kids for good grades), I think that it's certainly worth considering, although it didn't seem to have much of an effect here in NY.

    As to the larger idea of educational experimentation, I think it's absolutely outstanding. There are many different ways in which "education" can take place, both in terms of the way that knowledge is imparted and the type of knowledge that is involved. There's absolutely no reason not to try out all sorts of things and see what works best.

    NYC already has hundreds of charter schools and the legislature just doubled the number that will be allowed. There are schools that focus on particular subjects, schools that focus on particular methods of learning, schools that are organized under Teach for America veterans, schools that cut the number of teachers in half but pay them 2X the normal salary, etc. Most of them have been huge successes and have created all sorts of new opportunities for youth. There's no reason not to continue expanding this type of program.
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  5. #25
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    Re: Education Experimentation

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    That sounds like a better alternative, I however hate the idea of the state doing more in education.
    It's my natural reaction.

    The best way to instill a love of learning, is to do it early in life.
    As say this because this is what I've done with my son.

    He enjoys learning for the sake of learning more.
    So true - and this also strongly depends on the nature of the child in question.
    Some will start off very involved in school and that will give way to being very involved with friends isntead - peer pressure and so on. What is effective or beneficial throughout the year changes.
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  6. #26
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    Re: Education Experimentation

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    I see no reason why this wouldn't work or shouldn't be implemented. We've already done this in elementary schools using the "gold stars" and whatnot. It's a reward system just the same.
    Seriously.

    In my Spanish class, we would get stickers that we could use to trade for cool things.
    In my Math class, we would compete against the other classes to win pizza parties.
    In my English class, if you got every word right on the spelling tests for a semester, you got $25 worth of books.
    In my Science class, if you got the best grade on a test you got to take home some cool rocks or chemicals (which is a bit odd now that I think of it).

    In the larger sense, if you did well in school overall, you won various small "scholarships" (i.e. cash awards) that came from the school.
    If you did very well, you won larger scholarships, both from individual universities and other organizations.

    Hell, even the Federal Government already does this: National Merit Scholarship Program - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  7. #27
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    Re: Education Experimentation

    RightinNYC: That sounds ideal - and beneficial - without being overboard.

    My big sweet-spot in school was orchestra. My grades failed while my violin performance grew so my parents threatened to pull me out if I didn't bring up my other grades. . . that actually worked. I improved my grades, stayed in orchestra and continued to improve.

    However - whenever doing some type of incentive someone MUST continue it for it to be beneficial and fully effective. . .you can't just give a reason for doing well and then take it away. . .
    In high school, after I was already first-chair violinist, my parents moved to a school district that didn't have an orchestra program. I then had to drive with my Dad once a week to another state (2 hours away) to go to private lessons and a student orchestra (non-school, but state wide) and it sucked. I was one of the few there who actually gave a ****, lessons were crappy because we spent a lot of time waiting while the instructor helped out the students who didn't have quite the same level of umph, and, well, I had to ride in a car with my Dad for 4 hours . . .didn't get home 'til 11:00.

    It sucked - I lost interest completely and the one thing I enjoyed was ruined - I dropped out and gave up playing

    So - their idea worked so long as it was implementable but when life took us in a different direction I couldn't keep the same interest going.
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  8. #28
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    Re: Education Experimentation

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    -- What is your opinion, good idea or bad idea?
    When I was at high school, my best friend was offered £10 for every grade A he got in his 'o' level exams, he also had very encouraging parents who were involved. He went on to be a research chemist after graduating from Cambridge - so I was determined to try and give my kids the same start.

    Working in teaching now, I deal in something called EMA where poorer kids are offered up to £30 a week to stay on in school after 16.

    When EMA first started, you simply had to turn up, stay all day and leave at the end of the day. Some of the kdis in receipt quickly realised they didn't actually have to do any work for this £30 a week and that made my life hell as I wasn't allowed to refuse payment if the student did nothing all day. Two years ago, the govt changed the rules and students actually had to work, engage with their studies and keep up with work to get the money. That made a big difference BUT what I see now is those middle income kids, whose parents earn just over the threshold, work their socks off and get nothing. I can see the benefits of the idea - but it is unfair on middle income kids whose parents earn that bit too much but who cannot afford to support their own kids. The richest kids are always OK - they get large allowances or their parents are quite happy to support their kids financially where course costs are high. What also annoys me is that the way bursary rules are set up - those kids eligible for the £30 a week are the only ones allowed to apply for extra financial support.

    My personal view is that if we go down the route of govt payments - any govt money should be available to all - that tutors should be involved in the assessment of who gets, how much they get and why (if we do continue this scheme). I really don't like the fact that middle income kids struggle most - social mobility is a fine ideal but in practice I see discontent and unfairness for these kids whose parents are struggling to earn a decent living and provide - but don't earn enough to provide as much as others.

    Going back to the case of my friend, I did realise that his success was down to the involvement, support and aspirations of his parents in his education and that became what I wanted to provide for my own kids. I do see kids getting £30 a week handouts - many of them don't deserve and I have to deny them if they don't work for it but even then I worry for those kids whose parents made the mistake of earning too much and who are becoming disincentivised or who simply cannot engage in all the educational activities because they fall in the middle and are left in the cracks.

  9. #29
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    Re: Education Experimentation

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I just read an interesting article on Time about paying kids for good grades or other performance

    Pay for Grades: Should Parents Bribe Kids in School? - TIME

    This leads me think, if we are ever going to improve our education system, we are probably going to have to scientifically experiment on populations and find out what actually works instead of relying on things like "common sense", politics, or other unreliable drivers.

    However, I wonder if doing this is unethical.

    What is your opinion, good idea or bad idea?
    Its a bad idea, it teaches kids to expect something in return for something that they should already be doing.What next reward someone for paying child support, reward someone for paying their bills on time, reward someone because they took garbage out of their house and put it on the curb?
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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  10. #30
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    Re: Education Experimentation

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    Its a bad idea, it teaches kids to expect something in return for something that they should already be doing.What next reward someone for paying child support, reward someone for paying their bills on time, reward someone because they took garbage out of their house and put it on the curb?
    Child Support : You will get legal problems for not complying
    Bills on Time : Many companies attach a penalty to late payments
    Garbage : A nonsmelly house is its own reward

    In all three cases, there are usually fairly immediate repercussions for not performing the right action. Education is different. Typically, you invest either 12 or 16 years into an education in order to get rewarded at the end of that time. That and combined with the fact that most children tend to not think like adults (and in many cases they cannot due to the fact that their brain is not fully formed until 22 or so) and delay gratification pretty much means you have a formula for nonoptimal achievement.

    Second of all, when I think about this, its kind of like training for adulthood. You wake up, go to work, do work, go home, get a paycheck. If done right, it could acclimate children into this sort of behavior and increase that sort of responsibility later on.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 06-16-10 at 07:09 PM.

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