Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I get paid to remain awake!!

Have you ever got paid for sitting in a movie?? (I am sure Ramgopal Varma might think of that as a possible idea, to attract audiences for his next remake)
If I were to get paid for visiting a doctor, I might think twice about using his prescription. If I were to get paid to eat in a restaurant, trust me I don't want to taste their food. This "law of incentives" works pretty well with most professions-including that of a tailor,a carpenter, a musician and certainly that of a teacher.
Why would a teacher pay you to ask questions or for participating actively in his class?. Such an idea can lead to two inferences.
a. The teacher has got a lot of money and does not know how to spend it.
b. The teacher wants to give you an incentive to stay awake in his class.
What if the teacher were not actually distributing his own money and shelling student grades as an incentive to students participating in his class. Common logic would then eliminate option 'a' and one is left with the unfortunate truth of option 'b'.
Many business schools grade students on the basis of their participation in the class. Weird as it might seem, I am tempted to compare this to the hospital that would pay patients if they survived an operation.
Stimulating a participation in a class is an art which many professors and teachers have mastered after years of experience. Grading students based on their 'Class participation ' is an indirect insult to the noble profession of teaching.