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GPA versus Income

A while back, I wrote about an exercise I did with my 2006 freshman chemistry class where I suggested that those who do well in the class “donate” part of their grade to those doing poorly in the class. Well, a student who just graduated from UC Merced actually polled students on camera to see the response, four and a half years after I first proposed it.  The sound quality of the video isn’t great, so turn up the speakers.

In this age where we seem to be able to control our environment so well, it is easy for us to believe that if our ideas work on paper, they should work in the real world. If we think something is fair when it is done to others, do we think it is fair when we are on the receiving end? These are ideas and concepts we must challenge our students with so that we have citizens able to think through the ramifications of ideas.

Not only to actions have consequences, but so do ideas, and when we try to apply the theoretical to the real world, we don’t always get the response we expect—usually because some factors were overlooked or assumed. If students aren’t exposed to this fact of life in a sheltered environment like an educational setting, they will find it forced upon them when they get into the real world…if we are lucky. If not, then someone will pay the consequences of incomplete theory colliding with reality.


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