Applying A Grading Curve Where Grades Are Distributed Along A Bell Curve

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Various colleges, universities, and high schools utilize a grading curve where grades are distributed along a bell curve. While the system is praised for distributing grades fairly, the system is extremely unfair as it limits the amount of students who can do well. The system also causes intense competition because “your success means my failure” (Grant). This hypercompetitive atmosphere changes the environment of learning from a cooperative, collaborative experience to a stressful, anxiety filled one. With the suicide risk increasing, the mental health of students is being neglected because of the combination of being burnt out and the absence of social supports. Professor Adam Grant sought to fight this system by designing his own system in hopes of changing not only his students’ grades but the idea of teaching and learning. Grant began by creating difficult tests where one’s grade never hurt another; eliminating the cut throat competition. Grant’s bigger goal, however, was changing learning from an individual experience to a collabtive one where students had the opportunity to learn from each other. Also a psychologist, Grant studied the difference between “takers”, people who want to get ahead in life, and “givers”, who enjoyed helping others. While takers are more successful in their fields, takers are less trusted. Givers create relationships and have a network of genuine relationships; something Grant craved in his classroom. Grant’s decision allowed his students to chose one difficult question and essentially ask a friend for the answer. Students then began working together while studying further learning from each other. This method of test taking proves successful as the scores were higher. As the years went on, stude... ... middle of paper ... ...e learning healthy and effective studying; a life skill that causes better test grades.Furthermore, the grading curve also heightens the competitive atmosphere of school. Already students compete with their friends, hoping to beat them in a test, in final averages, in rank. Furthermore, the competition of school is causing severe health problems that is hurting students’ mentality at an early age. In an education system where tests seem to control your education and your future, schools are becoming more of place for rivalries than a place of learning. And the competitive learning taking place isn’t raising America’s education rank; encouraging cooperative learning may be our best chance for success. Collaborative learning wouldn’t only increase test scores but also, and most importantly, create a better system of learning where students enjoy to learn and study.

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