ERIC Number: ED232511
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
The Betrayal of the Gatekeepers: Grade Inflation.
The problem of grade inflation and explanations for this phenomena are considered. Grade inflation is described as the positive change in grade point average of large numbers of students generally, over an extended period of time. The following array of causes or explanations are discussed: awarding high grades so that a student could go to graduate school rather than be drafted for Vietnam, the culture of narcissism, the philosophy of relativism, institutional innovation and changes in administrative practices, the nature of students, the nature of faculty, the gender and racial composition of colleges, enrollment patterns, and student evaluation of faculty. It is suggested that college faculty are hesitant to be police or "gatekeepers," although their social role is to award certificates and degrees that reflect the levels of competence necessary for certain occupations or social roles. In addition, it is noted that the college or faculty member may benefit from grade inflation in times of declining enrollment and when positive student evaluations of faculty are desired. The issue of grade inflation is further explored in the context of recent versus traditional models of education. Among the trends of the recent model are: the trend for criterion referencing, mastery learning, field-based and experience oriented-courses, and independent study. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwest Philosophy of Education Society (San Antonio, TX, November 1982).