Thank you for this! I agree with you that "the main reason to abandon rubrics is because they make education less human." I teach philosophy and that means grading students' writing. Over the years I've had to make numerous circumlocutions around well-meaning dictates from my school to create rubrics under which student writing must be subsumed. I’ve always rejected rubrics because it means grading against a vague hierarchy of “inadequate – adequate – good – better” rather than grading what the student actually wrote and meant. Like you observe, it strengthens the problem of “we compromise the ability to act as guides for our students; instead, we are authority figures, dispensers of points and grades.” I want to mentor and guide students in developing their thinking not pigeon-hole them against a rubric. I want to converse with students as thinkers not reduce them to factory workers and me to some sort of quality control arbiter.

Philosophy professor reaching out beyond the ivory tower. I also run and

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