“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. I note that she’s not a professor, not even a faculty member, but a graduate assistant. In my department, the second-rank graduate assistants taught; the first-rank assisted their advisors in front-line research, being trained for a career as a tenured scientist.

    However, Back In The Day, students could take courses like this as much as they wanted, given only the availability of seats. It was called “auditing”. Attendance, homework, testing were strictly voluntary, but you received no credit, just a line in your record. I audited a course in 17th and 18th century English drama. Great fun — The Beggars Opera, The Country Wife (did you know that the title was a very dirty joke?), Tom Thumb, She Stoops To Conquer. Nothing to do with my major, but it sticks in my mind better than many courses that did. Not only that, I got to skip the tests!

    1. The serious student athletes wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole. Most of them realize they’d better graduate with top notch degree since very few athletes can go pro.

  2. This reputed course is basically a beach party without the beer. And she is a a Ph.D candidate in Biology. No wonder we get people saying a fetus is just a random collection of cells or that there are 100+ genders. We went through an Industrial Revolution, the physics and more recently with Biology and cellular and molecular biology. Hence the massive progress in medicine and the biological sciences over the past 50-70 years. This must be the post revolution or counter-revolution where we unlearn it all and return to the hunter gatherer state of humanity. Sort of like the apes fighting over the waterhole in 2001.

  3. Did I miss what value is added to my time spent? As a youngster, I NEVER considered time had value. I perceived it as limitless, Like the air I breath. What value is this teacher adding to my time and money invested? And no, a line item on my course work is not a real value, have to come up with a real value. She’s supposed to be close to a PhD, but my bet, she would have no answer for me. Because academics are far removed from how people actually survive.

    I think it was insty that talked about Credentialed, not Accomplished. That what this prof is, and the product she is turning out.

  4. It will be interesting to watch as this crop evolves into a cadre of adult individuals who have no expectations of performance in any endeavors whatsoever. What the nature of the society they will populate will be will be most interesting. Non-achievers, expecting nothing, and never being disappointed.

    1. ask a pre-med college student if you can tag along to visit a university medical school near you, sit in a medical school class for a half of a day, meet their faculty advisors, medical school admins, medical students, residents and fellows. You likely will not want to be their patient. Ask them about their most recently published scholarly medicine based manuscripts in peer review medical journals, and you will hear crickets. Most of the scholarly medical science articles published in the past few years were authored by foreigners. Im presently writing a scientific manuscript on the epigenetics of atherosclerosis. See the names of authors of recent papers on this topic.

      Medicine globally has become a political minefield where everyone earns a gold star on their forehead for parroting the expected talking points. If it isn’t global health disparities and population health it’s gun violence, “reproductive health” and black lies matter. The following video captures the mood today. Note this is at John Hopkins, #1 medical center in the world. I could go on but you really dont want to know, plus it is too early to drink 😉

      1. As an example, NPR runs an ad (sorry! er uh an underwriter sponsorship) for JHpieGo, a healthcare service for “women and their families”. Why wouldn’t men and boys hear such policy as prima facie discrimination against them? An unmarried father and his children can go without medical care, as far as Johns Hopkins is concerned. Open discrimination is perfectly permissible, even good for business- so long as the cudgel of political correctness remains ready to enforce.

        1. “unmarried father and his children can go without medical care”

          Just identify as women. Problem solved. Prostates are just a third ovary, right? 😉

  5. Sure. She ‘quit’. They ‘begged her to stay’. Uh-huh. The narcissism alone is good enough reason to not let these people teach your children. I suspect that actual conversation was more along the lines of, ‘You are strongly encouraged to resign or you will be fired.’.

  6. Would you still get the A if during the “discussions” you stated that you were for a strong border, against abortion, disagreed with BLM and CRT, didn’t think that a “man” could get pregnant and wouldn’t get vaccinated?

    This woman just didn’t want to do the work of grading exams or checking homework and she also wanted to assist the weaker students in keeping up their GPA.

  7. “I run a discussion-style classroom . . .”

    In other words: BS sessions dominated by the militantly ignorant.

    When you laugh at those “man on the street” interviews, where the interviewees can’t name three countries, “decolonizing the classroom” is what you’re laughing at.

  8. She’s either taking advantage of the woke “standards” to avoid the work of grading and evaluating students, or she’s just not cut out for academia, and so joins that long list of “diversity” incompetents. Affirmative action is a failure — for individuals and society — but the Democrats are so invested in it that they won’t admit they’ve ruined so many lives over the last half century.

  9. So why not just have the students apply for enrollment by an on-line process that only requires the listing of one’s mailing address and immediately receive a Diploma with the sought after Degree and skip all this other rigamarole …..and fire every Professor as they would no longer be needed and the Dormitories and Cafeterias could be be turned into Homeless Shelters?

    Sean….the DOD under Austin and Miller seems to be headed towards instilling such silly notions for our Military if left to it.

    You and I both know what lowering standards to meet politically correct goals results in….defeat on the battlefield.

    1. Ralph Chappell: The Pentagon is way ahead of you. The main reason neither the US, UK nor the EU want to directly engage Russia in this proxy Ukraine war is that they see the quality of the weapons Russia is using, and they know we cannot match them. Austin and Milley keep telling us we’re running low on weapons, but given the astronomical budget for the Pentagon every year, that can only mean one thing: rampant corruption and zero oversight. Throw “woke” into that mix, and maybe there’s a silver lining: knowing its weaknesses, maybe the US won’t ever start another useless, unconstitutional regime change war.

      1. “they see the quality of the weapons Russia is using, and they know we cannot match them”

        I wouldn’t exactly call nuclear cruise missiles with their warheads removed and replaced with ballast “quality”.

        Our personnel may not be up to snuff, but Russian equipment is top grade junk.

  10. Just exactly how many dollars per credit unit is being levied upon the attendee/student for this ‘course.’

    It seems that getting compensated for doing nothing is a growing trend, surely during the pandemic it was: so how’s that work if you don’t pay the IRS taxes on the coin you’re being paid, claiming it wasn’t work — fascinating how the human mind works sometimes!

  11. This should apply to pilot training. Just show up an talk about what is on your mind. When it comes to flying the 777, just apply critical thinking skills. It will all work out. How difficult could it be? Why not extend this philosophy to engineering school. Math? It’s too difficult. Who needs it anyway? Medical school? Just start the class with “Eyes and ears and knees and toes.”

    1. “Just start the class with ‘Eyes and ears and knees and toes.’”

      That strikes me as a bit human-centric. Why can’t we start the class with: Feelers and radar and segments and talons.

  12. I actually took her course “over there” and think it’s awesome. Learned a number of things, among them a sense of humor and it’s importance while working with (post!)modern gobbledygook.

  13. This is why a student’s major has become so important to employers. Even if one graduates from a highly rated university, if it is in a patronage major (those created to coddle students and professors who can’t compete academically), then the degree has little value in the job market.

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