After reading Technopoly by Neil Postman, an assigned reading for a communication ethics class, at palm beach atlantic university, I stumbled across an interesting idea. This idea is that the grade system, the process of assigning students a letter grade, is ridiculous. Niel postman argues, and I have to agree with him, that one can not rate intelligence on a scale of A-F, not only is this unfair but its not realistic. He argues that it puts a mathematical spin on reality, a technology created by human beings to measure and with it we are measuring success and intelligence. But can we really judge ones IQ by evaluating their grades in a certain course. You can not put a tangible evaluation on intelligence because intelligence is an idea. As postman argues, you can not locate intelligence in the brain, you can not weight it, measure it, or observe it, we may think we can… but lets face it intelligence is an idea much to complicated for this.
Call me biased but as a college student I can relate first hand. I’m taking a chemistry class and struggling is an understatement in regards to how I’m doing. The most frustrating part about it is the fact that I can do chemistry, just not the way that teacher wants to me do chemistry. Let me sit down with my chemistry book, give me a formula or problem and I can figure it out, it may take me a while but the bottom line is I can do it. My test grades; however, preach a different story and sometimes I wish I could sit down with my professor and say “look I can do it … see?” Unfortunately all that matters is that final grade. Next semester I’ll try again for the grade of approval that says “okay now you understand”, because its all about that letter.
Just because I have an “F” in chemistry doesn’t mean I’m not an intelligent individual.