Re: grading ourselves to death

Greg Sturgeon (enggreg@SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU)
Fri, 6 Sep 1996 10:29:50 -0500

Howdy, y'all! I'm new here, so if I repeat anything that's already been
said, forget what was said before :)

On Thu, 5 Sep 1996, Eric Crump wrote:

> Besides, even if arrival at the academic institution's water trough was
> voluntary, we still insist on telling students what to drink, when to
> drink, how to drink, and when we think they ought to be sated.
> Thirst? Never crosses our mind that their thirst might be the most
> important condition to consider for reaching *our* goals as well as
> theirs.

What about institutional constraints? I hate to sound like a wuss here,
but what kind of service are we doing to our students if we let them drink
what and when they like, and neglect the fact that they drink the wrong
stuff, or not enough of the right stuff? Also, one problem that I've run
into many times is the students' confusing what they WANT to drink with
what we (as "more experienced") know (or think we know) would be better
for them to drink to get through college. When I let my students have
more choice as to what and when to write, I got several who took it as
license to sit around and do nothing. They didn't drink because drinking
would have been too much effort, or would have meant that they couldn't
study for that chemistry exam, or whatever.

Don't get me wrong. I like to de-emphasize grades myself, but when I do
so, students aren't encouraged to explore the various ways of inquiring
about topics. They are encouraged that they don't have to explore
anything at all.

Greg Sturgeon