Tim Harford is an economist who has a newspaper column called “The Undercover Economist”. He presents tongue-in-cheek answers to a wide variety of questions from readers. In his book, “Dear Undercover Economist,” some of his favorite responses have been collected together. Two that really tickled me were related to the practice of grading on a curve.
Would a teacher ever cheat?
Of course this question will raise a few hackles. However, teachers are human, and humans respond to incentives. We do things that reward us, and avoid things that punish us. I’m intending to write a few blog posts about how incentives affect education – for good or for bad.
So, would a teacher ever have an incentive to cheat?
In this post, I want to talk about this statement : it is good to reward good teachers.
Some might say that teachers teach as a passion, and a reward is demeaning. While it’s true that there exist good teachers who are so devoted to their craft that they would work for free, it is still good to reward good teachers.