How often do you hear college students say, “that was fun!” on their way out of your classroom? Probably not often enough. Of course, who has time for fun when you have a syllabus packed with serious learning outcomes and one semester to accomplish your goals. Not to diminish the hard work involved in prepping for lectures, but when was the last time you asked yourself: Is my class fun?
Is the purpose of teaching student learning or student grading? I don’t believe that you can have it both ways. That is, grading, at least the way it’s commonly done, inhibits student learning. This is not merely my idea. David Brooks wrote a piece in the NYTabout this, saying “We all know why it exists, but the grade-point average is one of the more destructive elements in American education. In life we want independent thinking and risk-taking, but the GPA system encourages students to be deferential and risk averse, giving their teachers what they want.“
Via Cindy Riley Klages, Ivon Prefontaine
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