Hey Teachers, Leave Those Kids Alone

by Nathan Harden

Remember Boy Scouts, where you got a little merit badge to sew onto your uniform every time you learned something new? How about applying that concept to college?

At The College Fix, student Judith Ayers reports on a new idea being tested at Purdue, which involves giving students “badges” instead of grades:

Badges are trending in the higher education arena, and whether they catch on remains to be seen, but a few professors piloting the concept claim it’s a positive paradigm shift.

They’re more specific than grades, the educators argue, adding the badges also create a carrot-stick approach to education that keeps kids engaged and interested.

“(Many sudents) were motivated by that badge, so they did the optional badges as well; not all, but some went to learn further,” Purdue University professor Bill Watson, who piloted the program this semester, told The College Fix.

. . . Watson used them in an online graduate level course, and said students could see exactly what they would have to do to get the badges in order to show their mastery. Students even had the option to make the badges, once earned, publicly available on social media platforms.

This, Watson said, put the power back in the students’ hands.

This is a great idea for the self-esteem generation. A’s, B’s, C’s, F’s — they’re all so judgmental. Now, everyone who passes a class can get the same reward regardless of how well they perform.

If you’re tired of intelligent and hard-working people getting all the credit and praise, badges could be the answer you’ve been waiting for!

Read the full story here.

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