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Why ‘Grades’ Are A Useless Form Of Feedback (And Do More Harm Than Good)

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Are grades, particularly at key stages 2 and 3 doing more harm than good for our students? Should we abandon them in favour of what Teachling calls ‘Real Feedback’?

Teachling

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So, ‘smart’ kids are no happier than others. Besides, why does society value academia so highly anyway? School systems think standardised testing will somehow improve learning and that assigning grades and report cards will somehow improve learning, but a large body of research suggests quite the opposite. Kids need feedback that will help them improve. But what do we actually want students to get out of their education? What are we trying to achieve?

A teacher’s take on why schools should scrap ‘grades’, and instead give students real ‘feedback’…

Grades are a useless form of feedback, and do more harm than good
Alfie Kohn outlines here some of his arguments against ‘grades’:
Grades tend to reduce students’ interest in the learning itself
Grades tend to reduce students’ preference for challenging tasks
Grades tend to reduce the quality of students’ thinking
Grades aren’t valid, reliable, or objective

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Author: TeachAldenham

Online profile of TeachAldenham, Aldenham School Teaching and Learning Group. teachaldenham.wordpress.com Find us on twitter @teachaldenham

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