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Differences Abroad How many times have we found ourselves rushing to our professors office doors and waiting by the mailbox to find out what kind of grades we have received If you are like most American college students you will find that the answer to this question is that it happens all too often But do you think that these grades actually reflect what we have learned Would we be better off with a system of higher education that contained no grading at all Well according to David Rothenberg a philosophy professor who spent time teaching in Finland their educational system is centered on the belief that grades are not necessary to learning In his essay Learning in Finland No Grades No Criticism he tells about his experiences teaching as a Fulbright scholar in Finland He tells us about how the educational system is set up how the students respond to it and whether or not it seems to be effective I will attempt to compare and contrast this system of education to that which is practiced in American colleges In Finland according to Rothenberg students are never graded on any of the work that they have completed and they are under no pressure to compete with their peers In fact the Finnish colleges and universities frown on competition Rothenberg 341 Students are not required a time limit to complete their work for a certain course and they are not required to pay tuition either They actually get paid to be there This is obviously nothing like what American students are used to We are graded for every paper and class which have strict time limitations attached to when they must be completed Students endure harsh competition from every angle In order to even be accepted to an American college your high school transcripts and GPAs and ACT scores are compared to those of every other hopeful applicants After this a schedule will be determined
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