A Note on Grading

It is worthwhile for us to do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) of the grading system, its underlying purpose and intent, its effects on the classroom and especially on the professor-student and student-student relationships. Despite trying hard I have not been able make peace with the growing awareness that grades have come to the center of the classroom and have taken it hostage, along with us, our interaction and relationships. Inevitably conversation about the grades will be part of the conversations we will have this term. Here’s what I see to be crucial to our intellectual journey: “Dedication” is expressed through the quality of the time, effort and energy we extend to what we dedicate ourselves; and “Mastery” (or Excellence) in what we have tried to dedicate ourselves to. And apparently the former does not naturally or necessarily takes us to the latter. Such is life!