The education system measures and compares every student through grades earned in their respective courses. The grading system is archaic and is globally accepted. But is it accurate?
This should be a question that every institute, organization, and school should ask. Does this system benefit the student?
Many students are seekers of knowledge, not grades. Although, maybe these measures of grades are turning them away from acquiring the actual knowledge that they were seeking. The quest for knowledge has skewed towards grades.
Our grading system is unable to commensurate the skills that we have acquired. In fact, grades can be biased, which is a big issue that we often miss.
Some researchers have shown that as the requirement for better grades increase, the performance of students and the gusto to learn had reduced radically.
Many teachers don’t find grading their students comforting; they feel that it should not define their students. They believe their students are worth more than just an alphabet from A-F.
It does not provide justification to the work and effort that a student can do. It has proven difficult to encourage students to earn better grades as the grading scale focuses not on skills but towards learning the specific material.
The natural inquisitive behavior of students is dying as their quest for getting an A dominates.
Many schools are debating on removing the grading system and adapting to qualitative description of students’ performances.
Kentucky State wanted to take this approach, so in 2013, they provided each student with two reports, one with letter grades and a descriptive grade about the performance of the students.
The survey showed that parents preferred the descriptive one to the letter reports.
At another school in Virginia, parents were on board after a while. They were impressed with the detailed description of the work their children did in every subject rather than a single letter grade.
I believe the equity in the grading system is missing. The standards to which we are pushing our students to reach is not depending on skills, but rather on a letter that does not describe them.
The challenges that encourage a student to learn more is missing in the letters. It is discouraging students more than anything is. The veracity of it is doubtful as every teacher has different dynamics or requirements to achieve an A.
Students should know what they have learned and should know where they lack. The grades should be motivating and direct them towards the work they need to do.
Students should not be compared with peers.
When we focus on letter grades, it compares them with others, while qualitative descriptive grades compare them with their previous self. This would provide a better framework for self-growth.
To be honest, the grading system isn’t taking us to the heights we assumed; it is rather degrading the skill acquisition process. I think the reason behind the grading system would be to commercialize the school business.
The saddest part is education has become more of a business than a divine place.People have started to trade education with products. Universities have also joined this business.
Isn’t college level education a means to drive students to greater heights and to enlighten them with greater skills and knowledge?
Yet the grading system has over powered the actual purpose of higher studies and knowledge gathering intentions. The main aim of college is to inspire learners to find their passion and compete against themselves to better themselves towards their passion.
The purpose behind education is to make students creative, and capable enough to be imaginative at their tasks; however, this traditional learning process is unable to produce students with self-thinking or self-imaginative individual.
We are creating dependent learners. They depend on professors to teach them everything, but they are just capable of reproducing data taught. No thinking or learning is possible in such an environment.
Teachers with no passion are coming to these robotic institutes to produce robotic students who have achieved great grades.
Students with low grades are high in creativity, but due to society, they are left with no identity or work which may push them towards negative behaviors in society.
Are grades worth the pain we are inflicting on our children? Is it worth the struggle that students face?
Isn’t it our responsibility to encourage children towards learning and knowledge rather than grades?
I would want to see grades to be avoided and a university system that moves towards descriptive grading.