Paying mind to the value of adequacy in a world focused on excellence

January 25, 2018

“To be adequate is to have achieved the basic preconditions for participating in an activity without ruining it for anyone else,” writes Rachel Judith Weil in a defence of adequacy and mediocrity. Weil writes about how faculty will always ask “students to do things at which they may never excel,” which is why instructors need to convey the benefits of being able to do something adequately to their students. The article discusses how adequacy is, in itself, a standard that requires effort on the part of the student and allows instructors to better judge their own teaching capabilities. “For me as a teacher, to honor adequacy is not to discount the individual excellence of particular students,” concludes Weil, “but to appreciate the collective excellence that can occur even when some students are merely adequate.” Chronicle