About the course
Objective — We will examine questions such as: What are the purposes of academic grades, and what merits and limitations do modern grading systems present? Are current grading practices justified, or are there more effective ways to motivate students and evaluate their learning?
More to explore
Close, D. (2009). Fair grades. Teaching Philosophy, 32(4), 361-398. doi:10.5840/teachphil200932439 [link]
Bostrom, R. N., Vlandis, J. W., & Rosenbaum, M. E. (1961). Grades as reinforcing contingencies and attitude change. Journal of Educational Psychology, 52(2), 112-115. doi:10.1037/h0045803 [link]
Anderman, E. M., Griesinger, T., & Westerfield, G. (1998). Motivation and cheating during early adolescence. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(1), 84-93. doi:10.1037/0022-06126.96.36.199 [link]
Kohn, A. (1993). Punished by rewards: The trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, A's, praise, and other bribes. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. [link]
Brandt, R. (1995). Punished by rewards? A conversation with Alfie Kohn. Educational Leadership, 53(1), 13-16. [link]
Thank you to Steven Gende, IB English teacher at North Broward Preparatory School, for inspiring me to question how widely accepted classroom practices—particularly grading—affect students' learning and happiness.
Also, thank you to Laurie Santos, professor of psychology at Yale University, for directing me to some of the psychological research I discuss in this course.