Confessions of a Grade Fetishist

An interesting TedX video from a teacher about the benefits she and her pupils experienced when she broke her love affair with student grades as a measure of everything important.

"The score is what's remembered which essentially means nothing out of context."

One of the points she makes is something that has always stood out to me - there can be a whole bunch of children with the same grade, but who have very different learner profiles, needs and requirements as future learners. The truth is they tell us so little as to be useless.

She is at her most animated when she talks about what the process has done for her students.

This is well-worth watching to develop the debate about what's possible in learning.

Ditch Grades, Focus on Learning

What may, in the past, have been not much more than a trickle is becoming a wave as more and more educators are turning against the whole concept of grades. These teachers are recognising that there’s so much more that we can do for children by removing grades and, instead using portfolios and comment-based feedback to engage children in the process of how they think about their own learning, how they achieve and what they’re trying to achieve in the future.

As I’ve reported here in the past, moving to ‘comment only feedback’ also brings about incredibly positive changes in the communication between parents and their children to focus on learning as a continuous process.

Such initiatives need all our support:

The Journal – Panel – Ditch Grades Now, Focus On Student Learning