“Decolonize a Classroom”: Ex-UCSD Professor Defends Course with Guaranteed As and No Homework

As many of us gear up for our final exams and the long slog of grading, the approach of a former University of California (San Diego) teacher is particularly enticing. Libs of Tik Tok, the previously banned group on Twitter, posted a video of Chandler Puritty where she explained that one way that she has found to “decolonize a classroom” has been to guarantee all students As and no homework.  She also said that she built in “weeks of excused absences” for those who need to skip classes entirely.

Puritty explained how the course worked at the University of California:

“We do not grade over here. Anyone who takes my class automatically gets an A. They’re told in the first week that they’re going to get an A. The only thing that’s required is attendance, and I have weeks of excused absences built in, so that if people are sick or they have family obligations it won’t affect their grade..

… Since I’m not grading them – I’m just giving them As – so how do I know that they’re doing anything, and how do I know that they’re learning anything,… I also don’t give homework, surprise surprise — and I run a discussion-style classroom, my students and I have equal part when it comes to bringing information to the table,. We all sit together and share what we’re talking about, and they get to use their critical thinking skills to apply the things they learned in all their other classes.”

One can see the attraction for students as well as faculty in such courses.

As discussed in an earlier column on a course at Lawrence University, students surprisingly prefer courses without grades, homework, or exams. With a prior course with no homework, exams, and guaranteed passing grades, I noted the course could be defended as harmless given the fact that no grades are actually awarded other than a single credit.

In the UCSD course, however, you were guaranteed an A, which is a considerable enhancement from the pass/fail option.

Purrity has been recognized at UCSD for her teaching initiatives and research. According to her bio at UCSD, Purrity remains a Ph.D. candidate in biology and “received the UCSD Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award, nominated by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs as well as funding from the UC Office of the President’s UC-HBCU Initiative, the UCSD Competitive Edge Award, and the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSFGRFP).”

Moreover, Purrity has publicly responded to critics by saying that UCSD was eager for her to continue to teach at the school.

Purrity stated in a new posting on TikTok that those who oppose her “decolonial teaching style” should know that she “quit six months ago (and they begged me to stay).”



45 thoughts on ““Decolonize a Classroom”: Ex-UCSD Professor Defends Course with Guaranteed As and No Homework”

  1. Not surprising to see that the grade-Nazis are still out in force. Clearly no one here has read Jerry Farber’s seminal book: “The Student as N*****,” nor experienced a learning environment without the pressure of grades. Education isn’t about getting a job, it’s about becoming educated, experiencing the joy of learning.

  2. I went to UCLA and that is where I met my wife in the 70s. I am sorry to see how bad colleges have gotten since we graduated. We ended up moving east in 96 to Northern Virginia due to business and found the middle and high schools were bad. My sons decided when they finished they did not want to go to college and went to different Trade Schools. It was a good choice for both as they make around 6 figures, own houses, cars, and have good bank accounts.

  3. Remember the communist axiom : All equal, all stuid. Mission accomplished UCSD. Grading a course has nothing to do with colonization. It’s all communist clap trap.

  4. And this is rated as a top tier public college. If that’s the case, what are lesser colleges doing?

  5. This makes me ashamed to say I attended UCSD…although it was 50+ years ago when the university had just been established. At that time, I did have a professor who guaranteed to NOT give an A to any student!

  6. It’s truly remarkable how few Americans recognize that leftists like this are the worst kind of bigots, because they EXPECT people of color to be fundamentally incapable of competing on a level playing field


    Public school is, in large part, merely day-care. Most American education is simply a communist redistribution-of-wealth plan forcibly imposed by communist teachers/professors unions. Most “education” is an exercise in futility; most education, 75%, is lost in six days. Much esoteric “education” must be provided by hiring corporations. Education must be maximally privatized to maximize effectiveness and efficiency. Education dollars are mostly rubbish.

    “Forgetting curve”

    The forgetting curve hypothesizes the decline of memory retention in time. This curve shows how information is lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it.[1] A related concept is the strength of memory that refers to the durability that memory traces in the brain. The stronger the memory, the longer period of time that a person is able to recall it. A typical graph of the forgetting curve purports to show that humans tend to halve their memory of newly learned knowledge in a matter of days or weeks unless they consciously review the learned material.

    The forgetting curve supports one of the seven kinds of memory failures: transience, which is the process of forgetting that occurs with the passage of time.[2]

    – Wiki

    “The Forgetting Curve & American Education”

    Psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus discovered that without reinforcement or connection to previous knowledge “roughly 56% of information is forgotten in one hour, 66% after a day, and 75% after six days.” He called this the forgetting curve.

    – Sanidas Academy

  8. Kind of terrifying if this is used in classes that actually matter, as a part of a degree where one would actually get a career, job, profession that paid for the education by interacting with people with actual needs. Otherwise, If these are classes that are just part of the requirements for a useless degree, it’s okay if the graduates pay for the ridulousness.

    1. But students are paying for a class, to be taught something. Just giving As and no class work is not a college course, it’s a nothing.

      This shouldn’t be allowed.

      1. There is a good deal going on in universities that should not be allowed. Let’s add this one to the list. Would love to know the student loan debt load of these students.

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