Back to Results
Cover image of Failing Our Future
Preorder
Cover image of Failing Our Future
Share this Title:

Failing Our Future

How Grades Harm Students, and What We Can Do about It

Joshua R. Eyler

Publication Date
Binding Type

An indictment of the grading system in American schools and colleges—and a blueprint for how we can change it.

One of the most urgent and long-standing issues in the US education system is its obsession with grades. In Failing Our Future, Joshua R. Eyler shines a spotlight on how grades inhibit learning, cause problems between parents and children, amplify inequities, and contribute to the youth mental health crisis.

Eyler, who runs the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Mississippi, illustrates how grades interfere with students' intrinsic motivation and...

An indictment of the grading system in American schools and colleges—and a blueprint for how we can change it.

One of the most urgent and long-standing issues in the US education system is its obsession with grades. In Failing Our Future, Joshua R. Eyler shines a spotlight on how grades inhibit learning, cause problems between parents and children, amplify inequities, and contribute to the youth mental health crisis.

Eyler, who runs the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Mississippi, illustrates how grades interfere with students' intrinsic motivation and perpetuate the idea that school is a place for competition rather than discovery. Grades force students to focus on rewards and distract them from exploring ideas or pursuing interests beyond what they'll be tested on. In fact, grades significantly impede the learning process. They are also significantly affecting children's physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation have spiked, and academic stress tied to grades is a leading cause of this escalation.

Eyler shares success stories of grading reform efforts that are already under way as an antidote to the harms caused by the practices currently used in educational institutions. Equal parts scathing and hopeful, Failing Our Future aims to improve the lives of students by encouraging them to define success on their own terms. Parents, educators, policymakers, and students will find in these pages a rallying cry for change and a blueprint for how to implement reforms in our homes and classrooms.

Reviews

Reviews

Joshua Eyler turns the seemingly radical idea that we should abolish grades into a practical, principled, commonsense agenda for the future of education and, more importantly, for the best future for our students. Highly recommended to anyone who cares about students today.

We have known that grades are a poor indicator of learning, let alone mastery, for a very long time, and I'm thrilled that Joshua Eyler has written this book to explain why. It will be an essential fixture on my list of books about best practices for education.

The perilous ascent of achievement culture in our schools has reached a tipping point, and its origin, as Joshua Eyler illustrates in this extensively researched and narratively engaging work, is our fixation with grades, which has come to overwhelm the deep learning our children deserve. Failing Our Future is such an important book for our time—an indispensable read for every educator and every parent.

About

Book Details

Release Date
Publication Date
Status
Preorder
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
208
ISBN
9781421449937
Table of Contents

Preface: Scarlet Letters
Acknowledgments
Introduction: What Is a Grade? And Other Important Questions
Part I: The Many Problems with Grades
1. The Race Nobody Can Win: Grades as Obstacles to Motivation

Preface: Scarlet Letters
Acknowledgments
Introduction: What Is a Grade? And Other Important Questions
Part I: The Many Problems with Grades
1. The Race Nobody Can Win: Grades as Obstacles to Motivation and Learning
2. Helicopters, Lawnmowers, and Stealth Fighters: Parents and the Pressure to Get Good Grades
3. The Weight of Their World: Grades and the Mental Health Crisis in America
4. Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall: How Grades Reflect and Extend Inequities
Part II: How We Can Help
5. Building Up and Bouncing Back: What Parents Can Do at Home
6. Reinventing Education: How Teachers Are Exploring New Approaches to Grades and Grading in the Classroom
7. Climbing Mountains: Changing Our Schools, Colleges, and Universities
Epilogue: A Future without Letters?
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Joshua R. Eyler
Featured Contributor

Joshua R. Eyler

Joshua R. Eyler is the director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and a clinical assistant professor of teacher education at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories behind Effective College Teaching.