"Students in your classes might write volumes of chit chat, but
when they enter a writing-rich workplace, where volume is not valued,
then what? Competence, of necessity, must be a community concept within
the current system of credentialing institutions. A diploma is supposed
to be a sign of a certain level of competence."
And this is exactly why shielding students from comparisons, etc.,
within the classroom ultimately does them a disservice, I think.
It's another way of being a good guy for the moment while we kick
them on up another level and let the next teacher or employer worry
about it. Again, comparison--including even the dirty concept of (gulp)
"competition"--seems to me to be intractable in any context in which
quality of work matters in any way, and therefore it seems to me that
any system that replaces grading will eventually gravitate toward
looking very much like it, or will at least end up doing the same
kinds of things in principle.
Helmet on, waiting for Eric--