Thursday, April 14, 2011

A short history of grading at UM

I would not have guessed that UM was completely pass / fail into the 20th century.

I like this bit about early UM president James Angell:
Over his 38 years as president he argued repeatedly that "broader, heartier, better work" was done by those who studied simply "for the sake of learning" than by those who were merely scrapping for grades. "A collegiate course cannot be wisely shaped with primary reference to driving drones to work," he declared. "It should provide every manly and noble incentive to worthy achievement."
There is no question that it is more fun to teach students who actually care about learning. And the fraction of such students is surprisingly high at Michigan. I suspect those students learn more, and learn more usefully, than their grade-grubbing, future-salary obsessed colleagues.

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