Monday, 12 January 2015

Purple Pyramid of Progress

Many will have seen it, either emblazoned on the walls of every classroom in school, or, rather defeating the object, in black-and-white copy in their planners, and many will have taken no notice, and rightly so. However, have no fear! The Hampstead Trash is here! So idly sit back, relax, and let us make fun of the latest in a string of hair-brained, badly-devised 'initiatives' on behalf of the school management.

The first problem, and probably the most visually obvious one, is that the Purple Pyramid of Progress, emblazoned on every wall, including those of the maths rooms, isn't actually a pyramid. It's a triangle. That may sound very pedantic, but it's the same as saying "Here's the Cyan Cube of Corruption. Oh wait, I forgot to mention, it's actually just a square."

The second gaping hole, much like Kim Kardashian's mouth, in the idea of the "Purple Pyramid of Progress" is that it has sod all to do with progress. The triangle is supposed to show a progression of achievements that, if you make your way up through, you ultimately gain a 'big prize', whereas this doesn't work for two reasons, the first being that the triangle represents a series of unchronological achievements, whose only link is the increasing amount of points they garner, the second being that none of the achievements are progressed to, and all can be won in isolation; anyone can get up to five Stars of the Hour just by doing well on a single day, rather than having to work up to them over a certain time period.

And, even if the school were to rectify these issues regarding progress, the 'big prize' that ultimately is supposed to await them might not even make it to them, as the prizes, as anyone who has attended an end-of-term assembly would know, are handed out by pot-luck by the random selection of an app. This begs the question, and we wouldn't want the school to descend into anarchy (oh no!) over this, but why bother? If there's no certainty of a prize for working hard, why bother in the first place? It may all be in vain

Of course, we at the Trash believe there is always an education, that everyone gets, which is the outcome of doing well and bothering, but 'bad behaviour' is subjective, and look where it's got us.

What makes it ultimately more confusing is that it still uses a 'points' system, just like that of the Detentions Ladder, which could easily lead to confusion in the classroom; a teacher giving them points towards a detention when the student thinks they have done well and their behaviour is apt.

So, to ail this flawed system, the Trash has devised its own system of gaining recognition: the Pink Phallus of Persecution. And, unlike the Triangle, it is in fact a phallus, and it is in fact pink.

1 comment:

  1. "Unnecessary rewards sometimes carry hidden costs. Most people think that offering tangible rewards will boost anyone's interest in an activity. Actually, promising children a reward for a task they already enjoy can backfire. In experiments, children promised a payoff for playing with an interesting puzzle or toy later play with the toy less than do children who are not paid to play. It is as if the children think, 'If I have to be bribed into doing this, then it must not be worth doing for its own sake.'"
    (Myers, 2005)