Beyond the Grade: On Respectful Disagreements

Beyond the Grade is a series of posts sharing minimally refined reflections written in dialogue with students’ ideas during the grading process. Brief Introduction Some of our best ideas are gems that must be mined from hard rock, laboriously refined and polished. Others come to us spontaneously during meaningful experiences or encounters with others. As a professor I've found that I am often at my most creative in dialogue with students, which is why I love the classroom experience. I've also found that some of my clearest ideas and expressions occur as organic responses to students’ written work: when I’m inspired to go beyond noting errors and successes of form and obedience to rubrics, and address their substantive expressions. This section of the newsletter seeks to honor what the philosopher and social critic, Ivan Illich (1926-2002), so eloquently described as the “poetic surprise of the unplanned.”

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