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Producing SuccessThe Culture of Personal Advancement in an American High School$
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Peter Demerath

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226142395

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226142425.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 30 July 2021

Teaching the “Point-Hungry” Student: Hypercredentialing in Practice

Teaching the “Point-Hungry” Student: Hypercredentialing in Practice

Chapter:
(p.103) Chapter Five Teaching the “Point-Hungry” Student: Hypercredentialing in Practice
Source:
Producing Success
Author(s):

Peter Demerath

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226142425.003.0006

This chapter looks at the implications of achievement-oriented students' fixation on “getting good grades” for classroom learning. The chapter describes how these students perceived the purposes of school, and the specific practices they developed to maximize their academic achievement (“get the good grade with the least amount of work”) and future prospects. These included constantly judging the utility of their classes and the effectiveness of their teachers; personalizing their relationships with teachers; and cheating. The chapter explores how many teachers “padded” or “built up” grades, and how these, along with the school recognition programs make up a process of “hypercredentialing.” It is found that such an emphasis creates disjunctions between processes of credentialing and learning. Hypercredentialism can promote poor pedagogy and interfere with students' engagement with learning. It is noteworthy that according to several teachers, students who did not “play the game” of credentialing were in the minority.

Keywords:   hypercredentialing, achievement-oriented, Burnham students, getting good grades, padded, built up, learning

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