Could you build a nuclear power plant given the right reward?

From Facebook:

“my daughter and I were brought in to talk about her ” learning disabilities ” and how she was not applying herself . They talked about punishments and incentives . After listening to everyone I asked . ” If I asked you to build a nuclear power plant could you do it ?” They all answered ” no ” So I ask well what if i took a way all your free time at work , and did not allow you to go to the ofice party because you could not build it ? Could you build it then ?” Again the answer came back No . So I ask ” Okay then how about if I promise you a huge reward , could you build it then ?” Again they all answered no . So I say ” what if I read you a manual on how to build a nuclear power plant , gave you people who were educated and worked building nuclear power plants to show you how to build one , gave you every tool , all the materials to build one , could you build one now ” one said no still , but the rest said maybe . well I said to them my kid cant do this work if you punish her for not doing it ,or promise her a pizza party. She will only do this work if you put her with people who can help her understand . The world is a power plant to her .” [sic] ~ Adriene Kimiko Pauley

Could you build a nuclear power plant given the right reward? Or would you need support just to be able to get started?





  • I really like this analogy … tho’ then I thought, “I wouldn’t build a nuclear power plant anyway.  I don’t want to. I am not reward-motivated.”   

  • Suppose I want to learn how to make bread. I learn how to make the dough, how to get the oven hot, how to tell when the bread is ready. I do it. The first and second attempts go in the bin. Eventually I succeed. There was a purpose to the learning.

    Do I need to know about the physical and chemical processes going on inside the dough? No. Reason: I got a loaf.

    Math is somewhat different. Firstly there is no end result apart from “the right answer”. Secondly the doing is manipulating a load of symbols according to some rules. To some kids getting the right answer and a good grade is what matters, to others it matters far more that the whole business has some meaning, says something interesting, and so on. The “new” approach will (hopefully) benefit these kids, but I fear that the “just learn it” group are going to “just learn” the explanations and not get anything more out of it.

    Ok, this is not an answer to your question ! ! !

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