This series is a modified version of “Philosophy of Teaching,” my final project for a doctoral-level seminar in college teaching. Throughout the semester we wrote four smaller papers, two of which became tdaxp series: “Classroom Democracy” and “Learning Evolved.” Therefore, many of the ideas presented during the following week will be recognizable to long-time tdaxp readers.
My philosophy of teaching centers on the fact that the classroom is a society that is oriented towards grades. In the paper below I will explain the importance of grading and the drawbacks of common grading methodologies. Next I will describe an effective way to run classrooms which maximizes positive peer pressure. I will then integrate these into a social-grading system that gets the best out of every student. Last, I will briefly mention some limitations and offer a conclusion. What follows is not a scholarly text, but an applied method to improve the learning of students who sacrifice years of their lives – and often tens of thousands of dollars – to attend an institution of higher learning.