Friday, March 02, 2007

Grades

At the beginning of next month our local school district will be having a referendum vote on increasing spending limits on new programs and a new school building. The building has been used since 1939. And they've been trying to push this plan through for the past ten years, and everytime it has been voted down. I hope it is again.

So I've been thumbing through Walking on Water, by Derrick Jensen looking for quotes to include in my letter to our local newspaper about the vote. I ran across a quote by Jensen himself that has stuck with me since I read it years ago.

As I've written elsewhere, grades are a problem. On the most general level, they're an explicit acknowledgement that what you're doing is insufficiently interesting or rewarding for you to do it on your own. Nobody ever gave you a grade for learning how to play, how to ride a bicycle, or how to kiss. One of the best ways to destroy love for any of these activities would be through the use of grades and the coercion and judgement they represent. Grades are a cudgel to bludgeon the unwilling into doing what they don't want to do, an important instrument in inculcating children into a lifelong pattern of subservience to whatever authority happens to be thrust over them. Pg.71

3 comments:

Biby Cletus said...

Hey there, the article on Grades is very intresting and the defined it very well may be how to kiss kewl keep doing the good work be in touch

regards Biby - Blog

Willem said...

curt - email me so i can sign you up at mythic-cartography.org.

Curt said...

Biby,

Yeah, Derrick Jensen has an interesting way of putting things, doesn't he?