What Can Be Fairly Factored Into Final Grades?

Teaching Philosophy 35 (3):275-291 (2012)


This paper is a critical examination of Daryl Close’s “Fair Grades” . I dispute his view regarding the implications of accepting the purpose of grades as being fundamentally informational. I draw upon data identifying behaviors conducive to success and Carol Dweck’s work to argue for broadening what can be taken into account for a final grade. I argue that the informational purpose of final grades is preserved if we grade with an eye to encouraging general skills and dispositions conducive to success. Also, grading as Close recommends will discourage learning whereas using grades to reinforce positive behaviors is a fulfillment of our responsibility to enhance learning. I also address Close’s claims that curved grading and grade penalties for academic dishonesty are unfair and argue that neither of these practices necessarily corrupts final grades

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,743

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

61 (#190,996)

6 months
1 (#386,989)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jennifer McCrickerd
Drake University

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

An Immanent Machine: Reconsidering Grades, Historical and Present.Charles Tocci - 2010 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (7):762-778.
The Case for Motivational Grading.John Immerwahr - 2011 - Teaching Philosophy 34 (4):335-346.
Representation-Based Proof in the Elementary Grades.Deborah Schifter - 2009 - In Despina A. Stylianou, Maria L. Blanton & Eric J. Knuth (eds.), Teaching and Learning Proof Across the Grades: A K-16 Perspective. Routledge. pp. 87--101.
Three Grades of Probabilistic Involvement.Howard Smokler - 1977 - Philosophical Studies 32 (2):129 - 142.
On Making an Effort.E. J. Coffman - 2004 - Philosophical Papers 33 (1):11-21.
Leibniz on Final Causes.Laurence Carlin - 2006 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (2):217-233.