Professors allow students to pick their own grade

Melissa-Gonzales-Headshot-250x315

Professor Melissa Gonzalez: “I specialize in U.S. Latina/o and 20th century Latin American literature and culture, gender studies, and queer theory.”

A literature class at Davidson College this fall will use “contract grading,” allowing students to pick ahead of time their grade for the class and the workload they need to complete to earn it.

The offer is posed by Professor Melissa Gonzalez for her Introduction to Spanish Literatures and Cultures course, SPA 270, at the private liberal arts college in Davidson, North Carolina.

She is one of several professors across the nation who allow this pick-your-own grade method, billed as a way to eliminate the student-professor power differential and give students control of their education. But critics contend it is just another example of how colleges coddle students from the harsh realities of the real world, which includes competition and goal expectations.

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