Sure you have! We all get graded all the time. Kindergarden, pre-school, middle school, high school, college, university, various certificates for having learned to swim, ride your bike or drive a car — grading has become one of societies great sports. More than that, especially in societies with a low degree criticism of the structure of society (and here I’m amongst others thinking of the country I currently reside in), it has become an entire ideology of itself: grading is seen as being a scientific activity done according to natural laws and any grade is dependent, and only dependent upon that which is being graded — subjective factors in grading do simply not exist. So if you get some grade from a school in some dinky place in northern Norway, that grade is directly comparable to another student might receive from a school in central Oslo. And more than that: according to this ideology, it is perfectly possible to accumulate grades across subject! So one can somehow say “student A with a certificate from a high school i central Oslo, who got A in math and B in French is a better student than this student B with a certificate from a high school in Tromsø, who got B in English and C in geography”. And people believe that is possible not only for high school, but also for college and university!
And once the grade has been handed out, one can then use it to objectively classify all students and either hand out salaries that correspond to the grades in case they take a job or in order to filter out the best if they choose to go on and take further studies.
Although I have always been highly critical of the first part, up until recently I had believed that at least the second part was one close to that way (although that does of course not make much sense given that the grade is not very objective to begin with).
But then I was called in to a meeting with the Central Admission Committee for bachelor studies of the University of Oslo in which I am one of two student representatives. The meeting was to decide upon the fate of a little more than 100 applicants for “selffinancing bachelor students”…
Continue reading Ever been graded?