Grade Inflation

Student Demographics

  • Students today may be better prepared
    Certainly some evidence for this in Alberta. Research conducted by Alberta Education supports hypothesis that the reintroduction of provincial Diploma Examinations resulted in significant improvements in student writing; that examination essay answers are both significantly longer and significantly better today then when provincial examinations were first reintroduced.
  • Student expectations
    Kohn (1999) observes that "The proper occasion for outrage is not that too many students are getting 'A's, but that too many students have been led to believe that getting 'A's is the point of going to school."
  • Student entitlement mindset
    Problem seems less severe in Education Faculty, as a post-degree program, than for faculties facing 1st and 2nd year students; and because our students recognize immediate relevance of knowledge and skills they are acquiring. But our colleagues report that many students expect high grades without taking the corresponding responsibility for effort or ability.
  • Female Students
    Traditionally, female students have tended to do slightly better academically than male students; there has been an increase in female students, so there should be a corresponding increase in high grades
  • Adult Learners
    Similarly, older students are thought to be more mature and therefore more motivated and /or bring greater cultural capital (life experience) with them, and so achieve slightly higher grades. (UofL Education students tend to be older, partly because it is a post-degree program, but also because it tends to draw from an older demographic than say the UofA.)

© Robert Runté 2005. This site last updated: May 3, 2005