The problem with grades

Yesterday I followed a link from D’Arcy Norman to this article in the Globe and Mail about a professor who was fired because he gave all of his students A+ grades so that they could focus on the learning instead of worrying about grades. While reading the very humorous comments I stumbled across a reference to this Calvin and Hobbes comic:

© Universal Press Syndicate
© Universal Press Syndicate

It highlights what I hate most about the way the world conducts education.

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7 thoughts on “The problem with grades

  1. I love this Calvin and Hobbes comic because it rings so true.
    Students jump through hoops for grades, not for the learning. I hate that we pretend that testing and grades is an actual measure of the learning going on inside of the classroom.
    I could rant on and on about this problem, but I think the comic says enough.

  2. I agree Shannon, that’s exactly why I chose it. If you look at all the comments on the article measured there are hundreds of people ranting on and on for and against the issue. On the other hand the comic with its 3-4 sentences seems indisputable.

  3. I don’t know. I would argue that at a university level, it becomes very difficult to get good grades unless you are actually learning how to apply your knowledge and think creatively. In which case, they are the best measure of learning we have on a large scale.

    Also, I would say that anyone who is genuinely interested in learning will make the most of their education, regardless of the grading process, and those who are not will not become more engaged in their education if grades do not exist.

    p.s. heya Andre 🙂

  4. @Sarah, hey Sarah. I do agree that there is a large amount of legitimate learning going on at University. However, you cannot say that you have not experienced a lot of what the comic is talking about. I simply argue that things should be more efficient, that we should never be learning things we intend to forget.

    @Eastwood, Ken Robinson’s talk was actually one of the big motivators for my Terry Talk!

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