"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

11 May 2017


Alfie Kohn on de-grading ...

You can tell a lot about a teacher’s values and personality just by asking how he or she feels about giving grades. Some defend the practice, claiming that grades are necessary to“motivate”students. Many of these teachers actually seem to enjoy keeping intricate records of students’marks. Such teachers periodically warn students that they’re“going to have to know this for the test”as a way of compelling them to pay attention or do the assigned readings—and they may even use surprise quizzes for that purpose, keeping their gradebooks at the ready. 

Frankly, we ought to be worried for these teachers’students. In my experience, the most impressive teachers are those who despise the whole process of giving grades. Their aversion, as it turns out, is supported by solid evidence that raises questions about the very idea of traditional grading.

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