With grades students learn to guess the professor's mind and to obey. It is a very sophisticated machinery, whereby the natural desire to learn, the intrinsic motivation to want to learn something because you are interested in the thing itself, is destroyed. Grades are the carrot and stick that shape obedient employees and that prepare students for the higher level indoctrinations of graduate and professional schools. The only way to develop independent thinking in the classroom is to give freedom, to break the power relationship by removing the instrument of power.Paolo Freire is the first major influence that has helped me understand what my pedagogy needs to be about. The book that he is most known for, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, is an incredible masterpiece. It's academic, it's intellectual, but it's deep and based in experience. You can read it over and over again and get more out of it each time. Jeff Schmidt wrote a very important book that is not well known called Disciplined Minds, which talks about how professional employees are formed. Lastly, as an anarchist, I have found a great deal of inspiration for my education from Mikhail Bakunin.-- DGR
On 10 December 2008, Denis Rancourt, a tenured physics professor with 22 years experience, was provided with two letters by University of Ottawa administration officials. The first letter explained hat he was being placed under administrative suspension and banned from campus, while the second explained that the Dean of the Faculty of Science had recommended to the Board of Governors that Rancourt be fired.
- In July 2008, an arbitration decision declared that Rancourt's approach to grading was protected under the purview of academic freedom.
- In November 2008, the Canadian Association of University Professors announced that it would launch an Independent Committee of Inquiry into Rancourt's case