Organizational Patterns in Argument

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Hello, please respond to the following post, if you agree or not and why.One paragraph of 5 full sentences is enough; APA citation as needed.

“From Degrading to De-grading” was a very interesting article. It was very organized in it approach to its readers and concise on the topics chosen to persuade their readers. his use of numbered topics helps to better skim your way through the article, which was very necessary because of the lengthiness of the article. It lost my attention after the first 3 pages but I think this was more because I don’t agree with what the author’s stance is in this article. The sources used were more opinionated versus supporting of his argument and I feel does not help to sway the readers into agreeing with him.”

See article below:

From Degrading to De-Grading

  • ALFIE KOHN
  • In this proposal, which was published in High School magazine, Alfie Kohn first explains the problems with using grades to motivate students in high school. Then he describes how high schools could evaluate students in other ways. Kohn, an education reformer, has published numerous books, has been featured in a variety of magazines and newspapers, and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

You can tell a lot about a teacher’s values and personality just by asking how he or she feels about giving grades. Some defend the practice, claiming that grades are necessary to “motivate” students. Many of these teachers actually seem to enjoy keeping intricate records of students’ marks. Such teachers periodically warn students that they’re “going to have to know this for the test” as a way of compelling them to pay attention or do the assigned readings—and they may even use surprise quizzes for that purpose, keeping their grade books at the ready.

Frankly, we ought to be worried for these teachers’ students. In my experience, the most impressive teachers are those who despise the whole process of giving grades. Their aversion, as it turns out, is supported by solid evidence that raises questions about the very idea of traditional grading.

Three main effects of grading

Researchers have found three consistent effects of using—and especially, emphasizing the importance of—letter or number grades:

1. Grades tend to reduce students’ interest in the learning itself. One of the most well-researched findings in the field of motivational psychology is that the more people are rewarded for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward (Kohn,1993). Thus, it shouldn’t be surprising that when students are told they’ll need to know something for a test—or, more generally, that something they’re about to do will count for a grade—they are likely to come to view that task (or book or idea) as a chore.

5 While it’s not impossible for a student to be concerned about getting high marks and also to like what he or she is doing, the practical reality is that these two ways of thinking generally pull in opposite directions. Some research has explicitly demonstrated that a “grade orientation” and a “learning orientation” are inversely related (Beck et al., 1991; Milton et al., 1986). More strikingly, study after study has found that students—from elementary school to graduate school, and across cultures—demonstrate less interest in learning as a result of being graded (Benware and Deci, 1984; Butler, 1987; Butler and Nisan, 1986; Grolnick and Ryan, 1987; Harter and Guzman, 1986; Hughes et al., 1985; Kage, 1991; Salili et al., 1976). Thus, anyone who wants to see students get hooked on words and numbers and ideas already has reason to look for other ways of assessing and describing their achievement.

2. Grades tend to reduce students’ preference for challenging tasks. Students of all ages who have been led to concentrate on getting a good grade are likely to pick the easiest possible assignment if given a choice (Harter, 1978; Harter and Guzman, 1986; Kage, 1991; Milton et al., 1986). The more pressure to get an A, the less inclination to truly challenge oneself. Thus, students who cut corners may not be lazy so much as rational; they are adapting to an environment where good grades, not intellectual exploration, are what count. They might well say to us, “Hey, you told me the point here is to bring up my GPA, to get on the honor roll. Well, I’m not stupid: the easier the assignment, the more likely that I can give you what you want. So don’t blame me when I try to find the easiest thing to do and end up not learning anything.”

3. Grades tend to reduce the quality of students’ thinking. Given that students may lose interest in what they’re learning as a result of grades, it makes sense that they’re also apt to think less deeply. One series of studies, for example, found that students given numerical grades were significantly less creative than those who received qualitative feedback but no grades. The more the task required creative thinking, in fact, the worse the performance of students who knew they were going to be graded. Providing students with comments in addition to a grade didn’t help: the highest achievement occurred only when comments were given instead of numerical scores (Butler, 1987; Butler, 1988; Butler and Nisan, 1986).

In another experiment, students told they would be graded on how well they learned a social studies lesson had more trouble understanding the main point of the text than did students who were told that no grades would be involved. Even on a measure of rote recall, the graded group remembered fewer facts a week later (Grolnick and Ryan, 1987). A brand-new study discovered that students who tended to think about current events in terms of what they’d need to know for a grade were less knowledgeable than their peers, even after taking other variables into account (Anderman and Johnston, 1998).

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