Professor Sara Hill
7 March 2013
Hardened Credit Hours Over the years the credit hour has started to decline in being useful to schools. The credit hour use to be a great tool to track down how much a student has worked in college, but now professors are taking advantage of the credit hours. The credit hour originally came from the 1900’s. “Troubled that professors made too little to save for retirement, created a free pension system, administered by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.”(Uitinen) Professors weren’t getting paid enough and they were teaching for long periods of time. With that said, the teachers wanted to have a system that would give them a set amount of time to teach so they can get an even amount of pay. The Carniegie foundation wanted to find a way to incorporate time based units that would help add up to a teacher’s time card so they may qualify for free pension. The credit hour has now been adapted into many high schools, colleges, and universities. A problem that has occurred by using the credit hour is that many professors are grading people in a very inflated way. It is really hard to see if a student really knows the subject or not because of information like this, “research suggesting that nearly two-thirds of provosts and chief academic officers think grade inflation is a serious problem. In 1961, 15 percent of undergraduate course grades were A's; today more than 40 percent are A's.” (Uitinen) According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost seventy percent could not accomplish a simple task such as comparing opposing editorials. In a game of baseball people in the past just looked at the scoreboard to see how a team is doing in the game. As years went by in the sport there are more ways than just the scoreboard to see how a team is doing. In the past many people looked at a person’s grades to see if one was deserving of their degree or not. That changed in the twentieth century when the credit hour was introduced into the educational world. Jane Wellman states, “The credit hour was developed at the turn of the 20th century as a measure of student time in the classroom: one hour per week in class for one semester equalled one SCH.” The credit hour has become one of the most widely used measures of learning throughout the United States. “It is the common currency of a marketplace made up of public, nonprofit, private, and for-profit institutions that need to be able to recognize one another's credits and degrees.” (Wellman 20) Wellman’s information helps us understand how common the credit hour is used in many institutions. There are many reasons why using the credit hour as a base for learning is a good idea. Richard Schur argues the difference in Socrates and credit hours:
I know that the critics of the credit hour will point out how the example of Socrates illustrates precisely what is wrong with the existing model. First, Socrates did not have clear learning objectives for his students; his dialogues meander all over the place. Second, there was no outcome assessment, so we are not sure what, if anything, his interlocutors actually learned from these sessions. Third, this would be a very costly model to implement, especially with all the feasting and drinking. Fourth, this kind of education seems to privilege a life of luxury and wealth, which does not match the backgrounds of today's students. Last but certainly not least, it is not clear that any of Socrates' students ever got jobs, probably violating the "gainful employment" rule. (Schur)
The information provided shows the exceptional reasons on why the credit hour should be used at all times.
As there are good reasons to keep the credit hours there are also problems with the system. “To help understand the growing discontent with group curricular requirements which disregard the individual’s background or ability, it is important at this point to see how the…