Monthly Archives: March 2014

For Teachers: An Important Paper on Rewards and Motivation

If you ask a teacher about the virtues of giving students rewards for behavior, effort, or accomplishment, there is a very good chance that he will tell you about the dangers of “extrinsic motivators”. Specifically, he me may tell you that giving students rewards for doing something will undermine their “intrinsic” motivation to continue doing […]

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For Reformers: An Important Paper on Worker Compensation and Incentives

I’ve written before that education reformers often have an unfortunate lack of perspective about the way the world works outside of education. This means that reformers often unjustifiably assume – implicitly or explicitly – that their proposed changes would make education more like other sectors. This assumption, in turn, makes reformers’ proposals seem more intuitive […]

Posted in Education Reform, Teacher Compensation | Tagged , , | 2 Responses

The Limits of Teacher Autonomy

This post from Matt Bruenig has just enough educational implications for me to indulge some of my philosophical tendencies. Discussing Justin Green’s complaint about anti-discrimination laws infringing on personal freedom, Matt writes: Now ask yourself this question: can people in the U.S. refuse to engage in private commerce with anyone for any reason? The answer […]

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Musical Interlude – Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Where Have All The Rudeboys Gone?

He’s moved in a somewhat different direction lately, but back in the day Ted Leo was a master of hooks, melody, and falsetto.

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Educators: Don’t Assume A Can Opener

There is a famous┬ájoke about the way economists often undermine the usefulness of their conclusions by making too many simplifying assumptions. Here’s one of the older formulations: There is a story that has been going around about a physicist, a chemist, and an economist who were stranded on a desert island with no implements and […]

Posted in Education | 4 Responses