March 04, 2006

Grades are so pessimistic.

Most of the time, 100% in school is considered to be a great achievement, but think about it, that's just doing everything the way it was expected of you to do it. Unless you end up with above 100%, which is extremely rare, grades are simply reporting how much you failed.

It teaches us that a certain margin of failure is acceptable, as long as we stay above 50%. What kind of a lesson is that? If only school could grade from an achievable level of what is expected, so we could find our path based on where it is we exceed, rather than where we fail the least.

I also find that grades simply don't adequately judge a student's talent. There is so much that simply isn't graded, and frankly what is graded doesn't serve much good in life. Raw information doesn't normally surface outside school walls. Equations, literature, science, human history... While I don't disagree that these things should be taught, it's the learning skills that matter, not the data itself. Output alone can't adequately determine how these skills have developed, especially when the material being taught is incredibly dull, and the student begins to understand that the raw data and the output itself is useless.

This is why so many students are below 100%. The ones who have 100% always seem to think that every piece of information will be absolutely vital to know throughout the entire course of their lifetime. It's not true, and in a perfect world this lack of understanding could be measured and graded properly.

Posted by Insomniac at March 4, 2006 08:42 PM

school is designed for all ranges of intelligences. The partial failure is due to the fact that they cant have everyone who doesnt get 100% held back a year, because maybe they simply arent smart enough to do it and that really isnt their fault. So getting a passing grade tells them "i am smart enough" and getting 100% tells them "i am an overachieving freak, who happens to be really dedicated, probably due to my parents pushing me too hard..."
...i think i'll stop there.

Posted by: Kelly at March 9, 2006 03:59 PM