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Whatever floats your boat...

This TED Talk is going to change my teaching practice.

This guy (Dan Pink) argues that there's more potential to our creative energy when the motivated by a sense of altruism as opposed to cash incentives. If this is true, then there are some big-ass cracks in the pillars of Capitalism and economic theory.

Regardless, it definitely has implications for my classroom and how I structure my program. It validates "service-learning" projects where students are involved in problem-solving local issues and actively taking part in finding and implementing solutions.

Gonna look more into that, for sure.

Check it out, though! It may be the reason why you do this social networking thing and make tons of content for free (well..partly the reason... ;o)

Views: 15

Comment by NatureJunkie on August 25, 2009 at 2:27am
You always turn me on to some of the best of the TED Talks, Syd--thanks. This theory is very interesting with regard to jobs and tasks that require creative thinking, but As Pink points out, studies show that economic incentives work very well when the job is "mechanical" in nature. I'm guessing that the vast majority of jobs in any economy are routine, patterned, and repetitious, with creative thinking being only a small aspect of the work that most of us do. For sure, capitalism depends on creative thinking in the form of innovation to sustain itself, but innovation is a fraction of capitalist activity; the bulk of it is production.
Comment by SydTheSkeptic on August 25, 2009 at 1:12pm
Good point!
Comment by Kat.Ballou on August 25, 2009 at 11:03pm
syd--this got me thinking about my educational experience up to this point and me me realize the exact moment I started to hate school. I transitioned from a Montessori to public school. Montessori was all about self-directed activity and instilling an insatiable love for knowledge. I accredit the very basis of my character today to my experience and those teachers who treated me with respect, made me feel so comfortable with myself. They really did give me a collective foundation of self-worth at such a young age. My favorite part of the day was always when we would go for nature walks. When we returned to our classroom we would either draw a picture or write a desciption of what we saw and how we felt, then share them with our friends. When my parents got divorced and we moved, I started going to public school. The moment I mentioned before, when I first decided I hated school: I was doodling in my notebook during Spanish class in 5th grade. I don't know if teachers still do this today...but when I was in grade school we used to have to write our name on the board when we got in trouble. My teacher saw me drawing and ordered me to "sign the board". I was indignant (not to mention had a reeeeal fiesty attitude) so I told her she must be a fan of mind and wanted my autograph. This made the class laugh, which made teacher more angry. I signed the board. On my way back to my seat I accidentally tripped on a chair and fell on the ground. This made the class laugh harder. This made teacher angrier. Then I started to laugh. Like uncontrollably. She said that if I didn't stop laughing I would have to sit inside for recess. But I couldn't stop. And so I lost recess. What the hell would Maria Montessori have to say about a teacher who punished a student for (1) drawing......and (2) laughing ?!!!! From that day on I hated just about every teacher I ever had, I guess by default. And I still have trouble motivating myself. I could go on and on....I'll stop.
Comment by Kat.Ballou on August 26, 2009 at 12:04am
fan of mine**

AND (I know I said I'd stop...) Not to mention that the punishment was restricting play!

“If an educational act is to be efficacious, it will be only that one which tends to help toward the complete unfolding of life. To be thus helpful it is necessary rigorously to avoid the arrest of spontaneous movements and the imposition of arbitrary tasks.” -Maria Montessori


And I'm not just trying to flaunt my personal anecdote here...really I just can see where you could have pulled the implications for your classroom. What Dan Pink mentioned of autonomy and the need to drive our own lives (instrinsic motivation) is all that the Montessori method emphasizes....ENGAGEMENT...while the whole concept of management reminds me of a teacher on a power trip...the result being (stifling) compliance. And the public education system being based around extrinsic motivation, statistics, standardized tests...it promotes memorization and outputs undermotivated people with a hatred of school... (exaggeration--I know. I'm speaking for myself.) I hope I'm not offending you...I know you feel strongly about and are worlds more knowledgeable than I am on the education system...just sayin. I've been giving this stuff a lot of thought lately...so I'm lettin in all out here! :)

The whole "candle problem" and what you mentioned about implementing solutions made me think of Odyssey of the Mind, which I competed in when I was younger. I think the stuff is so cool. wow ok done
Comment by SydTheSkeptic on August 26, 2009 at 12:27am
Kat, true- I'm a big fan of public ed, but I also know that you're not alone in having to go through that kind of shit. Almost everyone has a horror story to tell about their teachers or about their schools. To me, it's the ideal of public ed that I'm in love with- what it's potential is. I'm happy to be living in a time of great change when it comes to education. We're already seeing that online learning is in rapid ascension and that soon (sooner than most people think), the walls of the "institution" will come crumbling down (that goes for higher ed, too).

I'll be very happy on that day cuz the factory model sucks BIG time. It sucks for kids and it sucks for teachers who want badly to do a good job but are forced to "manage" large numbers of kids instead of focusing on quality curriculum. Omigod, I could go on and on about how it's getting worse and not better thanks to the numbers-crunching and corporations getting their tendrils inside our classrooms and all but I'd be preachin' to the choir.

The bottom line is that the pendulum will be comin' back round this way again and innovation, creativity, and sanity will return thanks to the power of the people and the open source movement. I'm gonna be there when it does.
Comment by Pypermarru1 on August 26, 2009 at 3:31pm
NJ beat me to the punch. Production.

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