I chose to write this paper on the grading system and my reactions to it. Unfortunately it is a reality that schooling is so competitive, stressful, and time consuming. School and school work will always be time consuming if given a real effort, but they don't necessarily have to be competitive and stressful. For students who really wish to learn, the grades will usually follow.
That is to say that if one particular student is really interested in mathematics, then the homework will be done with quickness and ease, the studying will come from their desire to learn, and a good grade will no doubt be the result.
This brings up a new point of argument - what constitutes a good grade? Every student sets a personal standard for themselves and received grades are judged relative to that standard.
In any given class, especially classes of the size that are here at Michigan, a huge range of grades are no doubt going to be found acceptable by students.
This brings up many problems with the current grading system.
I would suggest an alternative system with a different form of evaluating students. I would first abolish all requirements simply because they can hinder a students real desire to learn. If a class is required, most likely students are taking it because of its necessity, not because of their own personal will. If students were able to chose any classes they wanted from a wide array of classes offered, they would be more inclined to work hard for the class and enjoy it at that. That may alone solve the stress problems associated with grades.
The competitive aspect of grades would not so easily be solved however. Currently students are always trying to "one-up"ÃÂ classmates so that their personal resume looks more...