The prince and the teachers

Teacher training in Britain is “voguish,” said the Prince of Wales in a speech to teachers. The Times of London reports:

The Prince illustrated his fears over the loss of the nation “shared cultural heritage” by highlighting a proposal by Edexcel, the examination board, to make English more accessible to students, particularly in cities. The board confirmed recently that pupils at 100 schools could avoid studying classic texts by authors such as Dickens and Shakespeare, and study slang, the language of digital communication and even reality television shows for some of the six modules.

He plans to set up a teacher training center to counter modern fads that emphasize teaching skills over knowledge and “relevance” above all.

In Bournemouth, a training institute is offering an iPod and 100 pounds to unemployed drop-outs who complete a 14-week class that teaches them how to write a resume and interview for a job.

Unemployed teenagers are being bought £170 iPod MP3 players with taxpayers’ money when they complete a course in “life and job skills”. The course is aimed at NEETS — teenagers Not in Employment Education Training or School.

Other incentives for the teenage recruits include payment of £50 for one day’s work experience a week, free travel, lunches and childcare and a £100 bonus plus the iPod when they complete the course. They will also receive another £100 if they sign up for another course.

. . . Julie-Ann Houldey, director of marketing at the college, which has 22,000 students, most of them part-time, said: “We don’t see this offer as bribery. This is about the incentivisation of a life and job skills course for a group of students who are not traditional learners.”

It’s not bribery. It’s incentivisation.

About Joanne


  1. Shouldn’t completing the course itself be the reward? If I was an unemployed drop-out, I would be more grateful for a free course in resume writing.

    And I am someone who was not a “traditional learner” either. Most of what I learned, I learned on my own – the 3 R’s, reading library books, building things, mixing chemicals in the backyard, etc.

  2. SuperSub says:

    Incentivisation…hmmm…maybe that’ll work the next time I get pulled over by a cop.

  3. There’s nothing wrong with incentives (like earning Valedictorian status).

    I think in this case, however, they should have checked first with the RIAA…


  4. elfcharm says:


    Supersub, only in russia (or similar countries)

    Further, I don’t really agree with this…however, if you have a bunch of unemployed people who are not motivated to do something that could raise them out of that status, I see no problem with this form of bribery.

    After all, the goal (from a governmental point of view) is not to help these people, but rather to keep these people from needing the help of the government. Will it work? who knows? I’m sure I can make up some statistics for both views. but…good luck to the brits with this.

    to reiterate, is it bribery? yes. is it wrong? no, as the intent is not (i think) specifically to help these people…rather, helping these people, through bribery or other programs, is the easiest, and surest, way to deal with the problem.

  5. I don’t think it’s so bad to bribe students to stick with a course. What worries me more is the prospect that – since the bribe is for “finishing the course” instead of the ultimate goal of this course, which is “getting a job” – the students will simply keep taking courses and never use their skills to seek an actual job.

  6. Yeah, and what will be their motivation if they get out into the work force? Not Getting Fired or Picking Up A Paycheck Twice A Month probably aren’t sufficient for people to stay in teaching – there are enough headaches that you have to be self-motivated, to love teaching FOR teaching.

    Actually, some of the unhappiest people I’ve met are people who are in their jobs solely for the external rewards (“I’d quit, but the pay is too good”) and conversely, the happiest people are the ones who see value in the job (“Gee, I get to do this, AND I make a living at it!”)