Professor: "Grades poison the educational environment"

Excellent story from the Globe and Mail about a university professor who doesn’t believe in grades:

On the first day of his fourth-year physics class, University of Ottawa professor Denis Rancourt announced to his students that he had already decided their marks: Everybody was getting an A+.

In December, the senior physicist was suspended from teaching, locked out of his laboratory and told that the university administration was recommending his dismissal and banning him from campus.

But the professor is undeterred about those A-pluses: “Grades poison the educational environment,” he insists. “We’re training students to be obedient, and to try to read our minds, rather than being a catalyst for learning.” Professor makes his mark, but it costs him his job

(Thanks, Tuur!)

2 thoughts on “Professor: "Grades poison the educational environment"”

  1. I remember a similar story (maybe even that same one?) from the book Zen, and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

    1. That’s a very good point. I believe Pirsig told about how he did that, as part of the series of events that eventually led to his insanity (and his being fired.) Did you know that book is mostly a true story? :)

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