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Student, Business Engineering, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

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What do you think of merit-based pay for teachers?

I don't know if the question is still relevant, I haven't followed it until recently but I heard it was quiet a debate at the Presidential election and wanted to know what he TED community thought of this.
Is merit-based pay for teachers a good idea... There are a lot of pros and cons about the topic: Will it help the education of the students (the main goal of the would-be arrangement)? Will the amount of teachers have a positive boost? Will it make the teachers too competitive, lessening the cooperation between them?

Please write your ideas.

(English is not my first language so excuse the grammatical errors and easy language)


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  • Nov 26 2012: I have taught for 34 years.

    Merit pay for teachers is moot. Our education system needs to change and become part of the "real world". Society needs to play a greater role in educating our children and assume some responsibility for their success. The education system as it stands was designed to produce factory workers after the WWII. Factories, manufacturing and resource development were the mainstay of our economies (I'm Canadian). It was possible to finish grade 8 and get a job. This is no longer the case, especially with educational inflation. Childhood, a time of no responsibilities, is lasting longer 25+.

    We need to look at the cost of our education systems now and the price of the failures because what I am proposing will cost money but in a different way. Schools should work with children age 6 to 14 and teach them the basics. There are excellent social studies and science units that need to be continued and the arts should definitely be supported. We know too much about brain based learning to not include the arts. As much as possible, learning should be experiential as supported by volumes of brain research.

    At age 14 the child's education should be in the real world for 3 years of volunteering. This work should cross socioeconomic boundaries and also allow for some personal choice in careers of the child's choosing. Society should keep the children "in school" meaning "at work". We need a village to raise our children.

    At age 17 the children should return to public education. I imagine they will do so with a new perspective on life. Curriculums need to be scrutinized carefully. How much time needs to spend story writing. Which students need to learn calculus, algebra, physics. Subjects should be more preparatory for life in general and the next stage of their learning. More learning needs to happen in situ.

    There are huge flaws and gaps in what I have suggested but I only have 53 characters left. Education needs to adapt.

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