|The Gulf Shore. Photo by Curt Isakson|
One of the most compelling points bought across in this book, and what has stuck with me the longest, was the concept of giving an ‘A’ for a particular project to free one-self of the grade, and to let a person fully experiment, fail, or succeed without the worry of getting a bad grade. I believe this can be a wonderful way of letting loose the chains that bind us creatively.
I find myself in this course having to make decisions about whether I do what I really want to do (which usually is more involved), or just make sure I fit the criteria for the grade. Many times I have made the conclusion that I want the grade and have not taken it as far as I wanted to. The projects I am most proud of though are the ones that I really didn’t care about the grade and did what I felt was right in my mind.
This course has used this concept many times, and I use this same idea in the classes I teach. A ‘no-fail’ approach to some of my learning environments really brings out the best in my students.
I couldn't agree more with this approach of a 'no-fail' policy for some projects. In my music classes, I really want the kids to explore the parameters of music and let their creativity flow. Of course, it's not always the best sounding music, but music none the less. This policy cannot work on every assignment (they must know the difference between a whole and half note) but even trying new things that they aren't used to is an added pressure on top of the grade, so using this policy can really let the kids cut loose like you said and enjoy learning in the process.