Age of Awareness
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Age of Awareness

Minus 5: How a Culture of Grades Degrades Learning

Photo by Ryan Johns on Unsplash

About midway through my first 18 years in education as a high school English teacher, I had mostly de-graded and de-tested my courses except, of course, for having to comply with mandates such as midterm/final exams and course grades.

At some point, my students and I began to openly parody grade culture in a sort of wink-wink-nod-nod way that included my saying “Minus 5!” any…




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Paul Thomas

Paul Thomas

P. L. Thomas, Professor of Education Furman University, taught high school English before moving to teacher education.

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