Re: The school game

Beth W. Baldwin, Ph.D. (bobaldwi@HAMLET.UNCG.EDU)
Wed, 14 Aug 1996 14:21:49 -0400

On Wed, 14 Aug 1996, Darlene Sybert wrote:

> Anyway, I know some of you don't do much with grades in your classes, so
> what do you do instead and do students learn?

My problem is that I don't *want* to do much with grades in my classes but
am forced to do so by the institution. I've lately stopped giving grades
at all until the final course grade (which is institutionally mandated).
This doesn't mean that I don't evaluate. I probably do more elaborate
assessments than my more traditional colleagues who rely on grades more
heavily. In my last classes, not *one* single student asked about her
grade status throughout the semester -- probably because she got such
extensive oral and written feedback/assessment that there should have been
no question about her "grade" if we'd had to stop at that moment and
write one down.

The Friends' schools here don't grade either. The also do extensive

And yes, students learn. The learn more/better (more better?) because
something other that a grade becomes the object of the *immediate* game.
I have to qualify that with "immediate" since no matter how willing
some teachers are to try to change things this institutional imperative to
grade still exists.


Beth Baldwin, Ph.D. *
Office of Continuing Education *
University of North Carolina at Greensboro *
Greensboro, NC 27412-5001 *
910-334-5301, ext. 44 * *