Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Facade of Coherence

Thanks to Owen for sending me the link to this piece about the academic road less travelled: no letter grades. Maybe Alan Rock should take a look at this before he tries to shitcan the quixotic professor Denis Rancourt, who I posted about t'other day.

1 comment:

Brian Palmu said...

"Students evaluate their own work first and then their professors follow with their own takes, and there is much discussion."


A new school (McCorkindale) was built closer to my home one summer, and I transferred there for grades 6 and 7. At the beginning of grade 7, myself and about 20 or so were plucked from the others, called into a meeting with the other teachers, and told we'd be part of a teaching/learning experiment whereby the curriculum would be the same though we'd have the responsibility to work on our own, and it was up to us to seek out help when we needed it. The grades were simply a pass or fail. There were two systems in place, then: ours and the long status quo.

When I hit high school in grade 8, and I had trouble with a specific math problem, the narrow-minded instructor lambasted me with "oh, you went to that experimental school where anything goes!"

The key, it seems, is finding which students are independent enough to take the initiative for this, though when it comes to grad students, that should be a given.

Later, grade 11 I believe, I, with 4 other students, was culled and called into a meeting with the entire teaching, support, and counselling staff, over 50 of them as I recall, where they asked us questions regarding our honest views of the teaching system, and how it worked (or didn't) in helping us prepare for our post-secondary school lives (academically or otherwise). It was a low-key, thoughtful process, open-ended, and light years away, it seems, from the silly and hysterical reactions coming from the entrenched grade set "school".