Discussion about grades

Then if those three attempts fail they will drop the course and retake it the next semester so it won’t hurt their gpa.

Hahahah. I wish I could have done that with a course I actually did badly on, but here if you go past the halfway mark with a course you’re stuck wtih it, even if you do retake it. I got an A+ second time round. >_<

They do have a drop date here. For undergrads it is about 1 month into the semester. You can, however, drop after that date if you have the professor’s permission which is what these people usually do.

This has nothing really to do with this thread, but I did do really bad in one class…as in…failed it. It was a lame 1 credit hour “Intro to Engineering” course. The kicker is I never had to retake it because in my advisor’s words “it isn’t important.” My response of course was why the hell did I have to take it then? Just a smile. So I have an F in a required course on my transcript, but they let me graduate anyway.

I don’t like those people either Hypharse, but I’ve noticed that a lot of the time, the GPA hunting backfires because schools you apply to will notice you never really challenged yourself and will take someone more resilient. McGill specifially states that it likes it as one of its criteria. I’m certain others do too.

Also, some professional studies programs in my school give preference to those with a full work load every semester as opposed to those who give themselves lighter work by taking summer courses.

My school judges a full course load based on credits instead of the number of courses. One time I was rejected by an employer because I had three courses but a full course load due to the credit weight.

  1. The problem is that historically the old arts and sciences programs of antiquity were only available to either the priesthood or the aristocracy, so there was no need to make sure there were employment opportunities associated with them. Harvard was initially a divinity school, for example.

  2. Now science has advanced to the point where it is used to develop technology and advance the field of medicine, etc., so that aspect of education has “useful ends” associated with it.

  3. Professional schools likewise train skills and practical functions, a carry-over of previous guild/apprenticeship programs from early-modern-Europe.

  4. With the Enlightenment came the assumption of rationality, the belief in the ability to understand the natural world. With this theory of rationality came the need to categorize, because without organizing and sorting the world how else is it to be determined? At this point the systemization and stratification of education and culture begins. Grades, standardized testing, mental health evaluations, social groups, prisons, etc.

  5. But this leaves little room for chiefly-intellectual curricula in an earnings-based world. Bureaucratization acted as an important salve, because now people who don’t learn a trade have an avenue of employment; so does the creation of an educational hierarchy for over-achievers (PHDs, etc.), and creating new markets under capitalism helps spread these people out enough so as to somewhat obscure the underlying problems.

  6. However there are two concerns with this new post-Enlightenment order. First, the people working in these jobs are still taught under the old systems of education; which creates an inherent conflict since you’re taught about innovation and self-reflection rather than how to well-perform a repetitive task for financial reward; the first doesn’t have much application in the second. And secondly, with the possible exception of those in scientific fields, you are training people to think critically and individually about subjects but providing them with limited avenues to practice this in their post-educational lives; which undermines the very professions you are shunting them into.

Also as some have pointed out, the idea that GPAs or standardized testing is helpful in determing who are “hard workers” is not entirely consistent. Take law school for example. Probably 80% of my class is within 4 points of each other on the law school standardized test. We all come from good schools with substantial GPAs. Yet a curve is forced upon each subject. 20% get some sort of A on Torts, 20% get a C, and the rest are in the B range. But in almost every class your sole grades are either one or two three-hour exams for each subject. And since we all work very hard and are intelligent, the difference between the A people, the B people, and the C people may be only a smattering of points. But are the A people really that much smarter than the C people? Do they deserve to land the substantially more eminent or higher-paying jobs? Hell no. Sure we may all feel good about getting grades through “hard work,” but a lot of our advancement in our current culture is based on either natural unacquirable ability, or blind stinking stupid luck.

There are some severe issues with how we grade people, because we are arbitrarily sorting worth and value and determining the course of people’s lives through means which are not inclusive and are themselves fallible.

And this doesn’t come from some lazy person chanting the mantra of someone who “doesn’t work hard to improve themselves,” but a student who graduated 2nd in his class at high school, nearly suma cum laude from college, and might be in the top 25-30% of his law class if he’d just get to fucking work already :stuck_out_tongue: Someone who plays the game and finds it sad.

Quite true. Especially in higher-level subjects, where the problems are much more open-ended, the material is much more broad, and there is <i>much</i> more of it, letting one or two tests determine like 90% of the final grade is completely ridiculous.

I think grades matter a lot, if people don’t have something to work for, they can get lazy. I work hard because I want to get good grades so I can get into college and have a good job.

Actually, some programs already have an either-pass-or-fail system. The one Raziela is taking for example (social studies, god that does not translate very impressively… she’s getting a degree and becoming a kind of social worker).