Sunday, April 13, 2014

Grades

One of the things about education is that rarely does anyone challenge a grade. Those who do would be students who are concerned about the reason behind their receiving a mark. With conversation it is usually easily taken care of. Those who object wholeheartedly to their mark should be asked, “Why do you deserve a better mark? Prove it to me.” This puts the onus on them to justify their thoughts. Their input is rarely taken into consideration when giving a final grade. If they are able to make a strong argument then they deserve the grade. If they are playing semantics they do not deserve the mark..

When we look at curriculum the question becomes, “How well did the student meet the stated curriculum?” Whether the part of the curriculum was explicitly taught doesn’t matter. The students may have acquired the skill elsewhere and be able to apply it without it being covered. We as educators need to be more cognizant of the student’s ability to learn and apply knowledge outside the classroom and give them credit for it. It takes a knowing teacher to see all of this and be able to justify it. Curriculum is guideline about what has to be taught. We should track all the other things that are taught as well to justify what we do.


As we move towards learning outside the box students must be included in setting up the criteria for success. When they own the criteria they recognize the goals they have set and work towards meeting it. Yes there will always be some students who step back and not participate fully but as we work towards having those conversations with them and helping them to become stronger participants in the new way of learning they will gravitate towards it.