Teaching the “Point-Hungry” Student: Hypercredentialing in Practice

Peter Demerath

in Producing Success

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226142395
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226142425 | DOI:
Teaching the “Point-Hungry” Student: Hypercredentialing in Practice

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This chapter looks at the implications of achievement-oriented students' fixation on “getting good grades” for classroom learning. The chapter describes how these students perceived the purposes of school, and the specific practices they developed to maximize their academic achievement (“get the good grade with the least amount of work”) and future prospects. These included constantly judging the utility of their classes and the effectiveness of their teachers; personalizing their relationships with teachers; and cheating. The chapter explores how many teachers “padded” or “built up” grades, and how these, along with the school recognition programs make up a process of “hypercredentialing.” It is found that such an emphasis creates disjunctions between processes of credentialing and learning. Hypercredentialism can promote poor pedagogy and interfere with students' engagement with learning. It is noteworthy that according to several teachers, students who did not “play the game” of credentialing were in the minority.

Keywords: hypercredentialing; achievement-oriented; Burnham students; getting good grades; padded; built up; learning

Chapter.  9974 words. 

Subjects: Schools Studies

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