Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
An interesting and significant dialogue on the relationship between Denis Rancourt and the University of Ottawa
JF: Why is it important to you to not grade your students?
DR: With grades students learn to guess the professor’s mind and to obey. It is a very sophisticated machinery, whereby the natural desire to learn, the intrinsic motivation to want to learn something because you are interested in the thing itself, is destroyed. Grades are the carrot and stick that shape obedient employees and that prepare students for the higher level indoctrinations of graduate and professional schools. The only way to develop independent thinking in the classroom is to give freedom, to break the power relationship by removing the instrument of power.