Friday Fun Folder (FFF)

June 20, 2014

Award Winning SBMS! Six Years in a row!!!

SBMS Summer Camps (paperless sign-ups)

SBMS Summer Camps 2014
Weeks five and six have been cancelled.
Call for info, ask Lisa if there's space for your child.

SBMS Celebrates 40 years 1975 - 2015
Summer Solstice Parade - Noon

Parade launches from Cota Street and finds its way up State Street to Micheltorena, where it hangs a right and heads toward Alameda Park, passing by SBMS's original campus at Trinity Episcopal Church. Good news is that parade goers and doers can interrupt themselves with a visit to Brasil Arts Café (see below). "I just wanna bang on my drum all day!"

Six Time "Best Independent School" Award
6 years in a row!
Stanley Cup?

RSVP to keep the award for a week at your home, office or business...If the Kings can carry the Stanley Cup around LA you can take this "trophy" around town with you, if you'd like. Stop by the office and gather it up! Oh, you can take the plaque, too, if you'd like, hang it on the wall of your choosing...

New Parent Association - SBMS Renowned PA!

Turns out SBMS PA Chair, Pearl Downing, is sharing her chair with the announcement yesterday that Ellen Borden has agreed to be her Co-Chair of SBMS's Parent Association for 2014-2015. Welcome and thank you, Ellen!

Danny Pink is a Montessori guy...
"Algorithmic" or "Heuristic?"
 
Drive by Daniel Pink.

This is a Delancey Place "review" of yet another Montessorian's take on learning and performance-Daniel Pink spent time with SBMSers a few years ago during an AMI conference in Atlanta, GA. "Drive," published 5 years ago, is intended for business types intent upon better understanding the ever-changing paradigm of what used to be called 'business management'-What to do to increase productivity?

Our Atlanta discussion had less to do with Pink's theory and his discoveries when applied to the adult work place, and more of the question as to whether a Montessori experience-a particular method of education utilizing intrinsic motivation as one of its core principles-could be a predictor of "heuristic" success. He was intrigued, and of course, it's why he was the keynote speaker. Here's the review:

Financial incentives, or "pay-for-performance," have been demonstrated as effective for improving productivity in jobs that are repetitive or transactional. But as the type of work in our society increasingly evolves toward creative work - such as designing new software, creating new marketing campaigns or inventing new products - it's worth noting that not only are financial incentives less effective in eliciting improved performance for this type of work, they can actually impede performance.

"Behavioral scientists often divide what we do on the job or learn in school into two categories: 'algorithmic' and 'heuristic.' An algorithmic task is one in which you follow a set of established instructions down a single pathway to one conclusion. That is, there's an algorithm for solving it. A heuristic task is the opposite. Precisely because no algorithm exists for it, you have to experiment with possibilities and devise a novel solution. Working as a grocery checkout clerk is mostly algorithmic. You do pretty much the same thing over and over in a certain way. Creating an ad campaign is mostly heuristic. You have to come up with something new.

"During the twentieth century, most work was algorithmic -- and not just jobs where you turned the same screw the same way all day long. Even when we traded blue collars for white, the tasks we carried out were often routine. That is, we could reduce much of what we did -- in accounting, law, computer programming, and other fields -- to a script, a spec sheet, a formula, or a series of steps that produced a right answer. ... The consulting firm McKinsey & Co. estimates that in the United States, only 30 percent of job growth now comes from algorithmic work, while 70 percent comes from heuristic work. A key reason: Routine work can be out sourced or automated; artistic, empathic, nonroutine work generally cannot.

"The implications for motivation are vast. Researchers such as Harvard Business School's Teresa Amabile have found that external rewards and punishments -- both carrots and sticks -- can work nicely for algorithmic tasks. But they can be devastating for heuristic ones. Those sorts of challenges -- solving novel problems or creating something the world didn't know it was missing -- depend heavily on ... the intrinsic motivation principle of creativity, which holds, in part: 'Intrinsic motivation is conducive to creativity; controlling extrinsic motivation is detrimental to creativity.' In other words, the central tenets of Motivation 2.0 [external 'carrot and stick' motivation] may actually impair performance of the heuristic, right-brain work on which modern economies depend.

"Partly because work has become more creative and less routine, it has also become more enjoyable. That, too, scrambles Motivation 2.0's assumptions. This operating system rests on the belief that work is not inherently enjoyable -- which is precisely why we must coax people with external rewards and threaten them with outside punishment. One unexpected finding of the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi ... is that people are much more likely to report having 'optimal experiences' on the job [in heuristic work] than during leisure. But if work is inherently enjoyable for more and more people, then the external inducements at the heart of Motivation 2.0 become less necessary. Worse, as [Edward L.] Deci began discovering forty years ago, adding certain kinds of extrinsic rewards on top of inherently interesting tasks can often dampen motivation and diminish performance. ...

"What happens when you give people a [complex] conceptual [problem] and offer them rewards for speedy solutions? Sam Glucksberg, a psychologist now at Princeton University, tested this in the early 1960s by timing how quickly two groups of participants solved the ... problem. He told the first group that he was timing their work merely to establish norms for how long it typically took someone to complete this sort of puzzle. To the second group he offered incentives. If a participant's time was among the fastest 25 percent of all the people being tested, that participant would receive $5. If the participant's time was the fastest of all, the reward would be $20. Adjusted for inflation, those are decent sums of money for a few minutes of effort -- a nice motivator.

"How much faster did the incentivized group come up with a solution? On average, it took them nearly three and a half minutes longer.' Yes, three and a half minutes longer. (Whenever I've relayed these results to a group of business people, the reaction is almost always a loud, pained, involuntary gasp.) In direct contravention to the core tenets of Motivation 2.0, an incentive designed to clarify thinking and sharpen creativity ended up clouding thinking and dulling creativity. Why? Rewards, by their very nature, narrow our focus. That's helpful when there's a clear path to a solution. They help us stare ahead and race faster. But 'if-then' motivators are terrible for [complex conceptual problems]. As this experiment shows, the rewards narrowed people's focus and blinkered the wide view that might have allowed them to see new uses for old objects."

How about your daily work or tasks, "algorithmic" or "heuristic?" Combination? Of course, you can purchase "Drive" at Amazon-a Montessori tool developed by Montessori alum, Jeff Bezos. AND, as you know, you can sign up for an Amazon SMILE account, which then sends a % of each of your purchases to SBMS when you name SBMS as your Charity-we're in their system, a click away. The "Drive" Kindle edition is $7.99, which means with your SMILE account SBMS will receive a donation of $0.000799! Come on!

Santa Barbara Foresters Baseball
Summer Solstice Special, ask at the gate!

Santa Barbara Foresters Baseball

World Cup Viewing - Brasil Arts Café
All matches live on State Street

Brasil Arts Cafe

SBMS School Calendar 2014-2015

Calendar Dates as of 6/13/14
Calendar 2014-2015

Pages

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