Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So Many Topics, So Few Complete Thoughts

From the "what's boiling in my brain that I want to formalize but need to get a lot more time to think about" files:

The context is missing and if you have already read the posts to which I refer, it would help a lot.

From Rational Jenn and Amy Mossoff: The rewards debate. According to the way Jenn reports it (not having read the book myself, and not likely to), Kohn describes rewards as I've usually seen bribes defined--going so far as to include grades and salary. I have always thought of grades and salary as having a feedback aspect. You know you are doing your job well as defined by the people who are in charge of making sure things stay on track (those who have a larger context than yourself) based on what grade/salary you receive. I was thinking of behavior charts and tokens of achievement (rewards) in a similar way lately. The goal is set and charting how well one is doing towards achieving that goal in a concrete, perceptible way is a tried-and-true way of knowing how well it is going as one works to a larger goal. A lot of behavior therapy uses these kinds of techniques.

I'm still trying to figure the whole thing out (with a pen-pal, thanks!), but that's a little part I've been playing with at this moment.

Manners (Amy's "The Little Things" again): Why have rules that curtail children's fun indoors? So the kids don't break themselves or valuable/dangerous items. I added recently: also because I want my children to be able to have good manners in most situations they find themselves in and to have those manners be automatic, not a constant struggle.

Homeschooling: No longer. From Leonard Peikoff's lecture on the Philosophy of Education: "Education is the systematic development of the conceptual faculty." Systematic being the keyword here. I found my schooling took a serious hit once I became the mother of a toddler. I always knew it was a possibility, but I was unable to continue schooling in the appropriate manner and nor could I parent my toddler well when I was consistently brushing him off to see to the educational needs of my two school-aged children. I could have gone on floating from one thing to another and taking much of our education in a catch-as-catch-can manner, but it wasn't really educating. It may have been learning but it fell short of the definition I was trying to abide by. There are so many other reasons, but that is the first and foremost.

Those are some of the things I have floating around in my brain. I would like to blog about my decision to stop homeschooling (for myself as well as any curious bystanders). The rewards issue is going to wait until I get some more thinking done and feedback.

And this post is a perfect example of why I haven't blogged in a while. It's a bit like my brain right now--disjointed and full of incomplete thoughts.


christinemm said...

I own the Kohn book and simply cannot read it. Not that I am stupid but it is dry and boring as heck. I used to want to agree 100% with Kohn but am now not sure I would.

Regarding salary that is definately not a reward for performance. Sorry but I've experienced that in the real world in the private sector one can do well at their job and get lots of praise and complimenting and good output but sometimes the money is just not there from upper management to dole it out to those who deserve it most.

At one point when working for a corporation that was expanding like crazy the HR dept put in rules abt limits on raises, at 4.5% tops. Then there was a dollar limit. The managers told me they had to somehow come up with a formula to match raise to the performance. HR also had a scale for calculating work performance into a number score. The problem was those scoring at a certain level should have gotten the 4.5% raise but when you added up all the great workers getting that score the money wasn't there. This work eval also included hard statistics like # of phone calls taken in, handling calls in under a certain number of minutes, exceeding performance for calls taken etc (a customer service call center).

When I got my review they explained that with my score I should have gotten over 5% but there was a ceiling at 4.5%. They finally worked a deal to scrape up stock options to give me as an extra rewards. Well the stock crashed and I wound up losing 90% of my options they were literally worthless.

christinemm said...

left out a phrase,

there was a dollar limit for the department. So they had to juggle the money dole out to the score on the performance.

And will add the HR said that approximately X percent of people in a company should score at X percent output etc. But real life statistics were not adding up to these numbers. Thus employees working very hard and meeting and exceeding the goals developed by the corporation itself could not be given the raise that HR said people of that score should get. I hope this makes sense, it is hard to explain it...

it reminds me of the story the WSJ reported about Medicare payouts for oxygen therapy. The gov't has made a mess of that payout. They no longer simply get billed for a service and pay it. They came up with a payment scale divided out over 3 years. The company gets more money in the beginning than in the end and must service that one person no matter what they need, so they make money on some ppl and lose money on some others. THe problem is there is no way in the system to accommodate ppl who move out of the area. The providers are ASSIGNED (not chosen) by town. So when elderly move into assisted living facility somewhere else or move in with or closer to younger family members who are helping take care of them the Medicare member cannot find an oxygen provider to give them svc as they are supposed to only use that former provider. Makes zero logical sense.

This is what happens when ppl make policies that are not directly connected to administering them.