DateNovember 17, 2008

mark my words

I’m trying my darnedest at school not to be sucked in by grading systems. Marks are wrong. The system by which we are graded is extremely flawed. I’m not saying I know a better way. I do not. I simply see what we have currently as flawed.

It’s not conducive to the process of learning at all. Not to mention how the competitive nature of the ranking process often discourages creative collaboration.

In one of the classes a girl was asking a series of questions to see if her approach to the a problem was correct. Her last question was, “But I won’t get a zero will I?”. This highlights the problem with marks. Students are tailoring the way they think and approach problems so that they achieve the highest grades. This, as opposed to thinking about ways to best solve the problem.

In fact, students will often only do assignments because they will be graded on them. Marks become a reason for getting students to do things or else they wouldn’t be interested in doing anything. The grading systems we have are poor substitutes for proper teaching techniques. Grading schemes allow teachers to be lazy in the way they structure the “learning” process. They don’t have to make lessons involving or interesting. They simply need to attach a value by way of marks.

Clearly the system is broken.

More on this later.

I think night school is a brilliant concept, if you have nothing to do during the day.

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