On Monday the GTC discussed teaching philosophies: why faculty and grad students teach the way they do. 1 group talked about how grades influence teaching, and how teaching and learning might be different in their absence. This group also discussed testing and grading standards and whether there should be non-quantifiable aspects of education. The 2nd group talked about whether there are universal educational practices and outcomes that all instructors should strive for, no matter who their students may be or what the subject they're teaching. John talked about the pedagogical value of camping, and more generally, that group talked about the importance of leaving the classroom. What happens when it rains was left for another day. Four counterfactual exercises anchored the discussions (to see these, take a look at the attached "Zen and the Art of Being a TA: Counterfactual Classes, Real Philosophies of Teaching").
So what do the readers of this blog think? Do grades hinder or help learning? Should students be taught the same things even if in different ways? Does learning occur differently and better when it happens outside the classroom? Has your teaching ever influenced your research, or is it just a contractual obligation to the university you must fulfill?