Friday, December 9, 2011

We Are Not Alone

I just received an interesting rant via Facebook (excerpts reposted with permission):

"[I'm annoyed about how] some tests are purely memorization and how hardly any intellect is used at all... we just had a biology test that was like that and you could ask me anything about what we just learned and I couldn't tell you simply because I don't know."
 I asked why.
"Basically the test itself is written on the board and everyone can either copy that or literally make a copy of someone elses notes or pure memorization. It's very frustrating, especially when we get to topics that get more complex and you need to know those things from before."
 I empathized, and got:
"The way I see it is grades reflect how much you care rather than how smart you are. I know several people who are smarter/sharper/cleverer than me who don't get very good grades."  

Often times, it feels as though I'm the only person around here who worries about the meaninglessness of grades. I need to remind myself more often that this is not the case. This conversation helped me keep my perspective, and gave me hope that other students share my concerns. And after all, these concerns may be the only thing with the potential or power to bring about change.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Three Reasons I Hate Grading

Reason 1.

I am tired of overhearing statements like:

"I don't like the teacher, but I love the worksheets."
"That class is an easy A."

Reason 2.

A grade can (huge emphasis on "can") show how much of a curriculum you've mastered. But what happens when you get rid of the curriculum?

Reason 3.

Grades have become all school is about. If we removed the current idea of a "grade," then we could get down to actually learning things.