Grade vs Gaining Knowledge

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mgodek
Words 1922
Pages 8
The Grade Verses Gaining Knowledge
Marjorie Godek
Brigham Young University-Idaho
Sister Hopkins, March 6, 2015

Introduction
You are defined by a number, A single number, a single letter. And if your number is not a 4.0, you’re no good. If your letter is not an A, we don’t want you. This is the message that is being sent to students across America. Young human beings are reduced down to a number, slapped on a piece of paper, or mechanically entered into some cyber sphere. This is the value of today’s students in America; the numbers that represent them. However, there are key principles taught by David McCullough in his address “Love of Learning,” and Thomas G. Plummer’s “Diagnosing and Treating the Ophelia Syndrome” that have given new insight into addressing the errors in our educational system that so many today are lamenting, yet are misdiagnosing, and treating with snake oil. These two men have been on both the learner and the teacher side of life, and I believe have correctly identified critical elements to true learning. And as they possess such experience, it begs the question: how does our country’s current approach to education align with these men’s ideas about learning? Let’s be so bold as to propose that it does not. These men provide the two key pieces to education that our country is currently lacking, and while both use rational thinking to arrive at their conclusions, Plummer argues that individuals stunt their learning and growth when they depend on others to do the thinking, while McCullough focuses on the distinction between learning, and the accumulation of information. The question remains, is there a distinction between gaining knowledge and just getting good grades?
Summaries
In the first article, “Diagnosing and Treating the Ophelia Syndrome,” Thomas G. Plummer (1990/2013), a professor of Germanic and Slavic languages, laments a…...

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