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Caela Burrell

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Would you still do school work if you weren't getting a grade for it?

One of my friends, a straight A student, recently told me that she wouldn't be doing her work if it wasn't being graded. I discussed this with some other friends and they all said the same. Does nobody do work just for the sake of learning now? Or do we need a reward for everything we do and a punishment for everything we don't do?
What would you do?

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  • Mar 15 2013: Yes and no. I would always do my math homework. Then, in 9th grade it was never graded, so I stopped doing it. I learned then that if you do not do the homework, you do not review the material enough to learn the equations, concepts and create the neurological pathways to allow you to easily solve similar problems. At the end of the year I had fallen behind and needed a tutor. In the end I aced the final, pulling a B in the class. That being said, I would always read. I loved to learn about different cultures and time periods. Historical fiction was my favorite. One of the reasons I did not do my math homework was because of my reading. I could do my math homework or read. Neither would count towards my grade. I was proficient at math and at reading, so the immediately necessary for me to do one or the other. I chose reading over math homework.

    Working and learning are two separate things. In some classes, the work is busy work. One does not learn anything from it except how to do tedious things. Although one can learn by working, the two are not mutually inclusive. In my opinion, school work demonstrates to the teacher that you have learned something. Some teachers are wonderful enough to build learning into the work assigned, but that is unusual. I had a physics professor in university who's tests taught one something as one demonstrated understanding of the material. I loved his tests. They were fun.

    Another thing you learn is that there are consequences for everything one does and does not do. Whether we need additional imposed ones that make the detriments of not doing work obvious is the question.

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