[plt-scheme] Last year students...

From: Prabhakar Ragde (plragde at uwaterloo.ca)
Date: Sun Apr 23 11:09:00 EDT 2006

Matthias wrote:

> Competition inside of a class is _natural_ and _encouraged_. Personally 
> I don't ever give grades in a comparative manner (no curving), but 
> regardless of that, I ensure that there is an element of 
> competitiveness built into the class (e.g., a game).

This is drifting off-topic, but I cannot resist pointing to the book "No 
Contest: The Case Against Competition", by Alfie Kohn, which refutes 
this notion, arguing that our conditioned impulse to encourage progress 
through competition does more harm than good. Like Matthias, I do not 
"curve" marks, but I also try to ensure that students make progress by 
setting internal goals and meeting or exceeding them, rather than by 
"beating" others. I don't dispute that Matthias's methods are effective 
(probably more effective than mine, given the predominance of 
competition in our society) but I also believe that alternatives can be 
made to work. --PR

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