Sunday, March 22, 2009
Should you pay students to go to school?
I just came back from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference in New Orleans. It was not as intense as my last year's experience at Boston, but fun all the same. I met one very interesting Canadian teacher who teaches college students in Qatar.
She was saying that students there are all paid to go to school and college. Many of them come in Lamborghinis and the biggest problem is motivation. Qataris have a lot of money and outsource all their jobs to foreigners. So the government has started paying students to go to school and college and learn some basic skills.
I thought this was a fascinating philosophical problem: if you take money and financial stability out of the equation, what reason do we have to get educated? To flaunt our sophistication to others and thereby distinguish ourselves from the crowd? For intellectual pleasure? Would you still want an education if you were Robinson Crusoe? Is it to leave a legacy for someone? If you remove ego from the equation as well, would there be any defense left for getting an education?