Condemned From Its Own Mouth

Another arrow in the quiver against education fell today. It arrived in Information Ethics, during a discussion of affective psychological development. We were climbing the ladders of development from meeting physical needs, to power, to adult approval, peer approval, self approval, on up to self-understanding and integration. But we stumbled, every last one of us involved in education, at competition with others. How can we operate at a level of mutuality and reciprocity when the academic environment keeps forcing us to be competitive?

Grades are the primary weapon in this war between students and teachers. I said it in college and I’ll say it now in grad school, grades are a sham. The grades that appear on my transcript are a poor shadow of what I’ve learned in school.

But still these damn things persist, even in grad school. I just don’t understand it.

Actually I do understand part of it. Universities need to be accredited just like the students who are seeking the degrees. In order to be accredited there needs to be a curriculum and there needs to be an assessment, an outcome, some kind of result that says the mission has been accomplished. But just what is the mission and the outcome we want to measure?

The rote group think that comes out whenever someone explains group or cooperative learning just continues to fall on deaf ears. In school there is no cooperative. There is no group. It’s just you and your cohort.

It’s damned odd and it’s been bugging me for almost twenty years. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand it.