Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Koreans are fanatic about education, so there is receptive demand for experiments.

From Prof. Tarun Khanna’s new column in Mint

  • From Megastudy in Seoul we can rethink the provision of incentives to our teachers, so that the better ones get more attention and the underperforming ones understand how they must improve.
  • Megastudy’s core idea is that good teachers are videotaped, and then others can subscribe to their lectures via online access to the videos. Good teachers keep a substantial share of incremental revenue, and the best are compensated at superstar Wall Street-like levels, while mediocrity is penalized (the poorest performers earn less than the median Korean college graduate). Measurement is taken seriously, so that the effort is not inadvertently rewarding only rote learning. And relatively simple online technology magnifies these incentive effects.
  • Of course, Megastudy’s is not the only solution to poor incentives. The charter school model under way in the US is another interesting experiment, but no reason not to let several proverbial flowers bloom on this front. Education in the West deserves introspection.

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