Saturday, September 10, 2011

What is School For? Honors or Knowledge?

Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. -- Aristotle
Kindergartners “graduating” in caps and gowns to first grade are just so cute! High-schoolers in caps and gowns, too, are “cute” even though they may still be reading on pretty much the same level as the little tykes.

Too many people see the point of schooling to be the collecting of gold stars, trophies, diplomas and the like, irrespective of whether these are indicators of practically useful or self-transforming knowledge acquired and retained.

Parents want their kids to get high grades no matter what; cheating and plagiarism are frequently thought of as just techniques for “getting through.”

A billion-dollar industry exists to help parents place their darlings in the “highest-ranked” colleges; little does it matter what the students will do once they get there.

What does all this cost? What is all this worth?

To examine this issue further, see Educational Assessment: 
confusing status with achievement



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