The Function of Academic Competition in Education

April 26, 2009

U.S. Secretary of Education

U.S. Secretary of Education

For some time, select schools in America have been experimenting with the idea of ending some forms of competitive grading. Some sociologists suggest that this would eliminate something called “stigma.” Stigma is a life changing, negative, social label. The underlying idea is that students will become demotivated if they receive poor or failing grades—bad grades causes more bad grades.

What do you think? If you would like to respond to this topic, please choose a discussion point below:

1. Do you think students should be graded for their work? Why?

2. How can traditional grading both help and hurt students’ motivation to learn? What do you think determines which effect it has?

3. If schools don’t grade students’ work, how can future employers judge whom to hire? How would this affect processes of higher education admissions?

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One comment

  1. I never really did think that students should be graded for thier work as long as they make a good effort. there are other ways to tell if the student is indeed learning anything. Class discussions is only one.

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