My guest for LeanBlog Podcast #57 is Alfie Kohn, an author and lecturer in the fields of education, parenting, and human behavior. His books include Punished By Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes and The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing.
I reached out to Alfie after there was some very good discussion on the blog about Chicago Public Schools giving incentive payments to high school students earning A’s, B’s, and C’s. Many of the arguments that Alfie makes are reminiscent of Dr. W. Edwards Deming and can be applied, more generally, to many organization settings where rewards and incentives are used. I hope you find this interesting and thought provoking. If anything, the Dr. Deming fans will want to listen to the end of the Podcast where Alfie does a dead-on impression of Dr. Deming. To read more articles, Alfie’s website is http://www.alfiekohn.org.
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Episode #57 Key Words and Links:
- Blog post that started the discussion
- Alfie’s website
- Rewards for grades are a “reward for a reward” — magnifying the harm.
- What you get is, at best, temporary compliance, but at a very high cost.
- Discussion of nominated Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.
- Great questions about the purpose of education — to create learners or prep people for the working world?
- Ties to the philosophy and lessons of Dr. Deming.
- Great Deming impression at the end!
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