Only for the Grade

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Patricia Sullins 2/18/13 Comp I Only For the Grade In this excerpt of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance the author Robert M Pirsig presents a story of a professor, Phaedrus, who wanted to experiment with the removal of grades in his classroom. The main point of this excerpt is to expose many students go to school for the grade and not the knowledge itself. With this being said I agree with Phaedrus’s point of many, but not all students going to school just for the grade, even many students need to be pushed to do any class work and the biggest argument he exposes is grades are a cover up for bad teaching. The excerpt Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Pirsig is about a college professor named Phaedrus who is trying to present an idea of a gradeless college to his class and has a hypothetical student to defend his idea. His hypothetical student flunks himself out of this college and in the end he comes back to it with the need for knowledge, not a grade. His class didn’t agree with this idea although the “A” and “B” students turned in work along with the “C” students. By the end of the semester all of the students had joined together and most “A” students agreed with the system, “B” and “C” students were neutral. Of course all F students opposed the system. One of Phaedrus’s students explains “Of course you can’t eliminate the degree and grading system. After all that’s what we’re here for.” By this quote the student is making an accusation that everyone who attends college is only attending for the grade and not the knowledge of any subject itself. Although I agree with this female student up to a certain point, I cannot accept her overriding assumption that every
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