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The And The Incentive Of Grades

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The Desire to Learn vs. the Incentive of Grades
The way that children are taught has been the same ever since the beginning. They are in a classroom, being taught with one teacher in the front, focusing on math, reading, writing, and science, and they are tested and given a grade based on how much they learned. However, this system is being brought into question. Is this really the best way to learn? Is a structured curriculum effective? Are grades necessary to encourage learning, or do they diminish the desire to learn? In Walden Two, B.F. Skinner expands upon these questions by creating the idea of a utopian society with the ideal way to educate. This novel teaches that learning should be enjoyed – not turned into a system – by becoming more individualized, less standardized, and less anchored by grading.
Grades are essential to a student’s life today, as they determine the success of our schooling experience, but are they really necessary? In Walden Two, Skinner takes his stance, explains how, essentially “’we don’t need “grades.” Everyone knows that talents and abilities don’t develop at the same rate in different children’” (Skinner 118). Grades are intended to be an incentive to learn, yet many view them as “’an administrative device which does violence to the nature of the developmental process’” (119). Additionally, the basis of grading is flawed initially, because it is centered on the idea that all students learn the same way and advance at the same speed. Because of this, some students cannot succeed in this standardized system. If a student doesn’t learn best with a lecture, then they will not learn as effectively as those that do, causing a lower grade and discouraging the student further from learning. This studen...

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...s classes. However, even when I realized what I enjoyed and what I didn’t, I still had to take the classes because they were required, leaving me without the desire to learn in those classes, I was simply there, doing what was necessary to get an “A”. These requirements causing a loss in the actual want to learn is another unintended consequence in our current educational system.
Again, grading causing discouragement and a lack of learning and the curriculum causing students to waste time in unnecessary courses are a few of the negative unintended consequences of today’s educational system. Ultimately, leaning should not just be taking required courses, passing with “A’s” with no information sticking. It should be about actually learning, there doesn’t have to be a reason behind learning. “Education should be only life itself. We don’t need to create motives” (124).
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