Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 23

Thread: Slate Article on Education Grading: A-F

  1. #1
    Pengwin7's Avatar
    Pengwin7 is online now
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10,193
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Rep Power
    25

    Moderator

    Default Slate Article on Education Grading: A-F

    I know we have several people on these forums that are part of the educational world.
    I'm interested to hear what they think about this article (linked from Yahoo!, written on Slate) about grading and whether grading lowers self-esteem.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double...ivity_and.html


    When I was in grade school (1-8), we had A-F grading.
    But my high school (Grades 9-12 + a Grade 13, way back in the Ontario day) had a numerical scoring system.

    It was essentially:
    90-100: A+
    80-90: A (over 80 = honour roll)
    70-80: B
    60-70: C
    50-60: D
    <50: Fail

    I thought that was pretty good, especially since kids should really have a focused understanding of basic math. (100% = max.)

    In university, we had the same grading system.

    I also liked the numbers because you'd get an 81 and think "Hey, that's honour roll stuff" (a positive thought).
    Or you could get a 78 and think "Hey, I just missed honour roll grade (sort of a positive thought).

    Whereas, a B+ is "not quite an A" (negative thought) and a A- suggests there was something flawed in the answers that had to be subtracted from just an "A".

    And of course there is the whole perfectionist goal of "Straight As".
    If somebody gets an 70-something amongst a bunch of 80s & 90s... it should still be regarded as effin fantastic.


    What say you, teaching world?
    Last edited by Pengwin7; May 14, 2013 at 3:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Location
    Ottawa/Timmins
    Rep Power
    10

    Dobber Sports Initiate

    Default

    Pretty interesting stuff! I know in law school, the grading system has been topic of interest.. Certain schools favouring certain averages, even certain profs having certain averages.

    Since grades are administered in a curve-fashion, everybody is competing against other classmates. So there has been some stories, not really from my school, but others, of student ripping pages out of library books and what not to screw classmates.

    And grades do have a large psychological effect on students. And I can see that by the stress and anxiety on the faces of my classmates during exams or post-exams!
    11 team Keeper Points-Only League
    4C - 4LW - 4RW - 6D - 2G

    2013 1st Place, 2014 1st Place
    C= Stamkos, Tavares, Getzlaf
    LW=
    RW= Perry, Seguin, Ovechkin
    D=
    G= Rask
    Prospect: Silfverberg, Kuznetsov

  3. #3
    mister_mcgoo's Avatar
    mister_mcgoo is online now
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    15,962
    Rep Power
    67

    Dobber Sports Ninja

    Default

    Good topic for discussion Pengwin!

    On the one hand I couldn't disagree more with this kinda nonsense...I despise how ubiquitous the 'everyone is a winner' philosophy has become in our education and sports systems. I think that's complete and utter bullshit and it does far more damage to the child long term than anything that educators/coaches imagine it is protecting them from.

    Bottom line is that life is hard! It is full of bitter disappointments and adversity, but you don't do your kids any favors by teaching them that everyone is the same, that they're all special little snowflakes and that there are no winners and losers in the game. All that does is create delusional kids who grow up to be delusional adults who are ill prepared for the big bad world (sorta like how celebrities live in a dream world where they think their shit doesn't stink because everyone is always telling them how awesome they are). Contrast that with more of a school of hard knocks type approach... sure those disappointments stings at the time when you fail a math test or lose the game but we learn a lot from our failures and it makes us more resilient. It also makes those accomplishments and successes all the sweeter and rewarding when they do come. I think kids need to experience failure as much (if not more) as success but they need encouragement when they struggle, chastising them is the worst thing you can do if they are trying.

    Now for the flipside, I firmly believe that our educational systems are archaic and absurd and a disservice to our youth, we've evolved so much and in so many ways in North America in the last centruy but our educational techniques have stagnated. I think the 'one size fits all' approach to education is ridiculous. For one thing everybody learns differently, for another, we all have natural leanings/inclinations towards things that we enjoy and that we have an aptitude for but there's nothing in place to encourage children in areas where they excel and have success and enjoy. I think that is a fatal mistake in how we educate kids and one which we are failing them, not vice-versa.

    I'll give an example, I had a good friend in high school I used to help with math because he just did not get it at all, it was too abstract for him and he struggled with it mightily, especially geometry and trig with all the angles and formulae. But you could give him ANY piece of broken machinery or electronics etc and he would dismantle the entire thing, identify the problem and fix it (often he would improve on the design!), quite simply he was a genius but not in any way that the school was measuring. Fortunately he stuck with what he loved and now he works for a big enginneering firm building prototypes. Never in a million years could he be an engineer because he couldn't do the math, but he's highly respected at his company because he can bring their ideas to life and tell them what will and won't work from a practical perspective, it's very much a yin-yang kinda thing.

    Contrast that all with this...this lady taught her kids herself and sent 6 of them to college by age 12!

    http://www.today.com/news/meet-famil...e-12-1C9316706

    Named after her mother’s favorite song, Mona Lisa Harding home-schools her children in the basics, but found that her kids learned more quickly (and got less bored) when they were allowed to study deeply -- something they loved.

    "I don't have any brilliant children, she contends. I'm not brilliant. My husband's not brilliant. We're just average folks.” Who inspired six children to enter college before they became teenagers.
    Thats me on the street with a violin under my chin, playing with a grin, singing gibberish.



  4. #4
    Dakkster's Avatar
    Dakkster is online now
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    9,973
    Location
    Halmstad, Sweden
    Rep Power
    55

    The Seeker

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pengwin7 View Post
    I know we have several people on these forums that are part of the educational world.
    I'm interested to hear what they think about this article (linked from Yahoo!, written on Slate) about grading and whether grading lowers self-esteem.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double...ivity_and.html


    When I was in grade school (1-8), we had A-F grading.
    But my high school (Grades 9-12 + a Grade 13, way back in the Ontario day) had a numerical scoring system.

    It was essentially:
    90-100: A+
    80-90: A (over 80 = honour roll)
    70-80: B
    60-70: C
    50-60: D
    <50: Fail

    I thought that was pretty good, especially since kids should really have a focused understanding of basic math. (100% = max.)

    In university, we had the same grading system.

    I also liked the numbers because you'd get an 81 and think "Hey, that's honour roll stuff" (a positive thought).
    Or you could get a 78 and think "Hey, I just missed honour roll grade (sort of a positive thought).

    Whereas, a B+ is "not quite an A" (negative thought) and a A- suggests there was something flawed in the answers that had to be subtracted from just an "A".

    And of course there is the whole perfectionist goal of "Straight As".
    If somebody gets an 70-something amongst a bunch of 80s & 90s... it should still be regarded as effin fantastic.


    What say you, teaching world?
    This is something my teacher colleagues and I discuss A LOT, so it's pretty hard to write anything that's anywhere close to deep on the subject.

    But basically, I disagree completely with using a quantitative approach to grading. Here in Sweden a new grading system was implemented two years ago, making our whole system much more qualitative and putting an emphasis on abilities as opposed to just straight facts.

    To simplify it greatly you could put it something like this: To get a passing grade you need to identify that a chair is a chair. To get a better grade you need to recognize that it is put together from different parts. To get the best grade you need to be able to draw conclusions about how it's constructed, how much weight it can carry etc.

    That way you get a qualitative grade and not just base it on some random score. If a tests has a few different parts, some basic and some more analytical, are you going to give 15 points to one big analytical task and 1 point each to 15 basic questions? That's too simplistic. Our national tests in different subjects are still designed from a quantitative standpoint and that's frustrating as hell since we're supposed to use them as quality control for the education, but a quantitative score will mostly not match a qualitative grade.

    So basically the old way of just making a test with 20 questions and a score of X and assigning percentages for different grades is just not good enough today. At the same time teachers get even more administration and less planning/evaluation time, resulting in stress and more stress.

    That's really shallow, but it should give an idea of some of the problems facing educators...
    GO WINGS!

  5. #5
    27Blue's Avatar
    27Blue is online now
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,626
    Rep Power
    40

    Dobber Sports Veteran

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dakkster View Post
    This is something my teacher colleagues and I discuss A LOT, so it's pretty hard to write anything that's anywhere close to deep on the subject.

    But basically, I disagree completely with using a quantitative approach to grading. Here in Sweden a new grading system was implemented two years ago, making our whole system much more qualitative and putting an emphasis on abilities as opposed to just straight facts.

    To simplify it greatly you could put it something like this: To get a passing grade you need to identify that a chair is a chair. To get a better grade you need to recognize that it is put together from different parts. To get the best grade you need to be able to draw conclusions about how it's constructed, how much weight it can carry etc.

    That way you get a qualitative grade and not just base it on some random score. If a tests has a few different parts, some basic and some more analytical, are you going to give 15 points to one big analytical task and 1 point each to 15 basic questions? That's too simplistic. Our national tests in different subjects are still designed from a quantitative standpoint and that's frustrating as hell since we're supposed to use them as quality control for the education, but a quantitative score will mostly not match a qualitative grade.

    So basically the old way of just making a test with 20 questions and a score of X and assigning percentages for different grades is just not good enough today. At the same time teachers get even more administration and less planning/evaluation time, resulting in stress and more stress.

    That's really shallow, but it should give an idea of some of the problems facing educators...
    Nice. This is the direction most education systems are heading. At my daughter's school, they are doing the same thing but they are also communicating student achievements differently than when I was a student. Everything is outcome based, so you no longer get a single mark for math (for example). Instead, all curricular outcomes are listed with comments on the students strengths and weaknesses for each (where applicable). It was almost six pages long, but there was very little that I did and didn't know about what my daughter could do, and to what level of understanding she had for every outcome in the grade 2 curriculum. No marks, just descriptive comments that paint a clear picture.

  6. #6
    tgraveline's Avatar
    tgraveline is offline
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3,843
    Location
    Clovis, CA
    Rep Power
    27

    Dobber Sports Star

    Default

    I like how the article is about grades degrading things, but the grades are used for test (which he said isn't what the article is about).

    In my experience, some kids do just check out when they get their grades, but grades are more for teachers in letting them know what to do to make sure kids are learning. You have to use assessment to judge if students are learning. The question isn't necessarily the grade, but it's more of what the the test is assessing and how it's doing that.

    I actually love the idea of having mentor/student teaching in upper level education. Get the basics and if you can accelerate through that, awesome. Then you can move on up. People fear this negatively affects students who don't move up. Can't please everyone. Not everyone is going to graduate from college or university. That's life. I think assessment should be done at these upper levels where through conversation and via evidence over time, that students move on. The grading doesn't have to be archaic as it can still provide a guide for who is moving forward.

    The big issue I see is that the fear of failure is ridiculous. We fail to learn and I agree that we have to fail at times. Whether that's from a bad experiment or a poorly written grade. You have to be told at some point that it was wrong. That's not a bad thing, you just pick up where you left off and try again. Seek guidance and support.

    The bigger issue of education in America is the lack of parenting help, if you ask me.
    Sites: www.twitter.com/tsgraveline tsgraveline.blogspot.com thesharkremarks.blogspot.com

    Team 1:10 Multi-Cat Roto league

    C- Malkin,Giroux,Thornton Galchenyuk, Schenn, Berglund, Eller
    LW- Hall,Ovechkin, E.Kane Saad
    RW- Seguin, Stewart, PAP
    D- Subban,Phaneuf Keith, OEL, Hedman,
    G- Pavelec,Hiller Lindback, Theodore, Lehner

    Team 2:24 H2H League Multi-Cat

    C- Weiss, Galchenyuk, Desharnais, Vitale
    LW- Parise, Bailey, Torres, King, Bissonnette
    RW- Ovechkin, Clowe, Asham, Gagner
    D- Boyle, Klesla, Souray, Hjalmarsson, Niskanen, Hickey, Lovejoy, Potter
    G-Holtby, Halak

  7. #7
    Dakkster's Avatar
    Dakkster is online now
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    9,973
    Location
    Halmstad, Sweden
    Rep Power
    55

    The Seeker

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 27Blue View Post
    Nice. This is the direction most education systems are heading. At my daughter's school, they are doing the same thing but they are also communicating student achievements differently than when I was a student. Everything is outcome based, so you no longer get a single mark for math (for example). Instead, all curricular outcomes are listed with comments on the students strengths and weaknesses for each (where applicable). It was almost six pages long, but there was very little that I did and didn't know about what my daughter could do, and to what level of understanding she had for every outcome in the grade 2 curriculum. No marks, just descriptive comments that paint a clear picture.
    A very important thing that goes hand in hand with qualitative grades is a solid feedback system. You can't just tell the student "hey, you got grade X". You need to tell them "you got grade X because of A, B and C and here's something you can work on to get even better". I had ten-year-olds last semester and that's the youngest kids I've had so far in my career. They don't get grades yet (start getting them at 12), but we're already talking to them about goals, how a grade matrix works, etc, and we're spoonfeeding them feedback so that they learn the reasoning behind how and why they are taught whatever it is they're taught.

    Back when I was in school Sweden used a grading system that used normal distribution. Basically, the theory was that an equal amount of kids should get 1 (the worst grade, fail) as 5 (the best), then some more would get 2 and 4 and the vast majority of Sweden's students got a 3. Thankfully it was scrapped in 1994 and replaced by a system where anyone could get any grade as long as they met the different goals.

    Add in the fact that a fifth up to a third (depending on the survey) of Swedish teachers are told by their principals to give higher grades. Why? Because otherwise the parents will move their kids to a school that WILL give easy grades and that school will get that kid's school funding instead. That's because the libertarian-esque party got their wish and in the last few years there's been a completely retarded privatization wave here. Sweden is the only country in the world, along with Chile, where private school owners can take out extremely huge profits. It's perverse.

    Oh well... time for bed...
    GO WINGS!

  8. #8
    mister_mcgoo's Avatar
    mister_mcgoo is online now
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    15,962
    Rep Power
    67

    Dobber Sports Ninja

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dakkster View Post
    This is something my teacher colleagues and I discuss A LOT, so it's pretty hard to write anything that's anywhere close to deep on the subject.

    But basically, I disagree completely with using a quantitative approach to grading. Here in Sweden a new grading system was implemented two years ago, making our whole system much more qualitative and putting an emphasis on abilities as opposed to just straight facts.

    To simplify it greatly you could put it something like this: To get a passing grade you need to identify that a chair is a chair. To get a better grade you need to recognize that it is put together from different parts. To get the best grade you need to be able to draw conclusions about how it's constructed, how much weight it can carry etc.

    That way you get a qualitative grade and not just base it on some random score. If a tests has a few different parts, some basic and some more analytical, are you going to give 15 points to one big analytical task and 1 point each to 15 basic questions? That's too simplistic. Our national tests in different subjects are still designed from a quantitative standpoint and that's frustrating as hell since we're supposed to use them as quality control for the education, but a quantitative score will mostly not match a qualitative grade.

    So basically the old way of just making a test with 20 questions and a score of X and assigning percentages for different grades is just not good enough today. At the same time teachers get even more administration and less planning/evaluation time, resulting in stress and more stress.

    That's really shallow, but it should give an idea of some of the problems facing educators...

    I know we don't much like each other and fight all the time but I very much enjoyed your response to this thread.

    We often give you shit for being smugly Swedish in many respects but in this case you guys are so far ahead of N.A that some smugness is well warranted. You probably have a vision in your mind of how poor the American education system is, and I can assure you it is much worse than you can probably imagine (unless you can afford private school for your kids of course). Seriously though, it is awful. Everything with education is so highly politicized and mired in partisanship and money that it has become this headless entity that serves no one...not the educators, not the students, not the public, it is quite simply a ****ing farce.

    Your example was simplistic to be sure but you captured the concept well I think...it's a little like the system you see in video games sometimes where you can achieve bronze, silver or gold status for a given mission/quest and based on how well you do you are similarly awarded and encouraged to do better. There is a HUGE difference between telling a kid 'you failed, you get an F' versus 'there are two extra achievements above this that you can unlock if you apply yourself'!

    I think part of the problem in America is that they are obsessed with trying to quantify everything and sadly intelligence is not something that lends itself to being easily quantified, at least not in any way that they are trying to apply. I read this article recently (cant find it but I'll look) that was written by the guy who designed one of the pre-eminent SAT-prepratory packages that are used in the US. His whole point was that the SAT measures nothing other than one's ability to master how SATs are designed. So for example, the SATs get progressively harder as the exams go on, so he would always tutor his students to take a tact where they would pick the obvious answer early on (because it will invariably be correct) but to dismiss it later in the exam (because it will invariably be a trick). That's not measuring **** all IMO
    Thats me on the street with a violin under my chin, playing with a grin, singing gibberish.



  9. #9
    Dakkster's Avatar
    Dakkster is online now
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    9,973
    Location
    Halmstad, Sweden
    Rep Power
    55

    The Seeker

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mister_mcgoo View Post
    I know we don't much like each other and fight all the time but I very much enjoyed your response to this thread.

    We often give you shit for being smugly Swedish in many respects but in this case you guys are so far ahead of N.A that some smugness is well warranted. You probably have a vision in your mind of how poor the American education system is, and I can assure you it is much worse than you can probably imagine (unless you can afford private school for your kids of course). Seriously though, it is awful. Everything with education is so highly politicized and mired in partisanship and money that it has become this headless entity that serves no one...not the educators, not the students, not the public, it is quite simply a ****ing farce.

    Your example was simplistic to be sure but you captured the concept well I think...it's a little like the system you see in video games sometimes where you can achieve bronze, silver or gold status for a given mission/quest and based on how well you do you are similarly awarded and encouraged to do better. There is a HUGE difference between telling a kid 'you failed, you get an F' versus 'there are two extra achievements above this that you can unlock if you apply yourself'!

    I think part of the problem in America is that they are obsessed with trying to quantify everything and sadly intelligence is not something that lends itself to being easily quantified, at least not in any way that they are trying to apply. I read this article recently (cant find it but I'll look) that was written by the guy who designed one of the pre-eminent SAT-prepratory packages that are used in the US. His whole point was that the SAT measures nothing other than one's ability to master how SATs are designed. So for example, the SATs get progressively harder as the exams go on, so he would always tutor his students to take a tact where they would pick the obvious answer early on (because it will invariably be correct) but to dismiss it later in the exam (because it will invariably be a trick). That's not measuring **** all IMO
    I have a lot of thoughts on that, but I don't have time right now. I'll write something later. But I wanted to say that we should really bury the hatchet once and for all. Our overly smug feud is just silly, right?
    GO WINGS!

  10. #10
    mister_mcgoo's Avatar
    mister_mcgoo is online now
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    15,962
    Rep Power
    67

    Dobber Sports Ninja

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dakkster View Post
    I have a lot of thoughts on that, but I don't have time right now. I'll write something later. But I wanted to say that we should really bury the hatchet once and for all. Our overly smug feud is just silly, right?
    but we both enjoy feeling smugly superior...how can this work? Maybe you can have M, W, F each week and I'll take Tu, Th, Sa and Sunday will be a smug-free day of rest?

    I'm down with the burying of hatchets though
    Thats me on the street with a violin under my chin, playing with a grin, singing gibberish.



  11. #11
    Rep Power
    27

    Dobber Sports Pro

    Default

    My wife is teacher, and gets very frustrated with the way some parts of the new curriculum is laid out.

    For example, you can't dock marks for passing in a late assignment, no matter how late it is. So a kid could wait two months to pass something in, and not get docked anything.

    They also can't give zeroes, even if the students deserve it.

    You also can't give a final mark of anywhere from a 46-49. It has to be either a 45 or a 50 (pass or fail). It prevents people from coming up later begging for an extra point or two to pass.

    The system is set up in such a way that it's almost impossible for students to fail. That means politicians can brag that under their education system, the failure rate decreased from X to Y, so they look good.
    12-team Keeper pool, straight points for forwards & dmen. Goalies get: 2 points per win, 3 per shutout, 1 point per assist & 1 point per shootout loss.

    Top 8 forwards, 5 dmen and 2 goalies count.

    We keep 15 players (any position) plus two rookies. Still need to decide on final keeper.

    Forwards: Malkin, Stamkos, Ovechkin, Hall, Kunitz, Benn, Spezza, Iginla, Backes, Gaborik, Brown, Weiss, Kesler, Whitney, Brassard, Ryder
    Defence: Letang, Schultz, Carle, Enstrom
    Goalies: Price, Lundqvist, Ramo

    My personal blog: http://theryancokeexperience.wordpress.com

  12. #12
    Mr. Guru's Avatar
    Mr. Guru is online now
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    4,252
    Location
    Toronto
    Rep Power
    39

    Dobber Sports Genius

    Default

    What grade does your wife teach?

  13. #13
    Rep Power
    27

    Dobber Sports Pro

    Default

    High school.
    12-team Keeper pool, straight points for forwards & dmen. Goalies get: 2 points per win, 3 per shutout, 1 point per assist & 1 point per shootout loss.

    Top 8 forwards, 5 dmen and 2 goalies count.

    We keep 15 players (any position) plus two rookies. Still need to decide on final keeper.

    Forwards: Malkin, Stamkos, Ovechkin, Hall, Kunitz, Benn, Spezza, Iginla, Backes, Gaborik, Brown, Weiss, Kesler, Whitney, Brassard, Ryder
    Defence: Letang, Schultz, Carle, Enstrom
    Goalies: Price, Lundqvist, Ramo

    My personal blog: http://theryancokeexperience.wordpress.com

  14. #14
    Old_Smokie's Avatar
    Old_Smokie is offline
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    3,068
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Rep Power
    24

    Dobber Sports Expert

    Default

    I honestly love this conversation and enjoyed the discussion all though I haven't the time to add anything worthwhile at the present. However one thing I would like to say is that after being in the field of education for 6 years now I often debate the validity between paper and pencil testing to alternative assessment.

    Given the nature of jobs today, not only does one have to be intelligent in an individual sense but they also need to be able to critically think and then apply that knowledge. Paper and pencil testing for the most part does not lend to application which is something I've always been critical of for the most part. I had to write a paper based on the validty of grades back in university. I found a lot of journals etc on the issue but am at a loss for what I did with them.Sorry for the rant as I'm not sure it fits the topic of conversation fully.
    64M Cap, Partial Keeper: 4F(ANY) 2D, 2G, Year : H2H Daily 2C/2LW/2RW/1F/4D/2G, 14 Teams

    Pro

    C: Crosby, Malkin Kadri, Bozak
    LW: Yakupov, Moulson
    RW: St. Louis, Zuccarello
    D: Karlsson, Piets Shattenkirk, Barrie, Franson
    G: Rask, Varly, Markstrom, Johnson


    Farm (Max 200 GP):
    Tarasenko, Kadri, Kuznetsov, Mackinnon, B. Smith, Markstrom, Tatar

    Stat Categories

    Skaters
    FOW(.1) G(4) A(3) PPG(1.5) PPA(1) SHG(3) SHA(2) GWG(1) SOG(.2) +-(1) PIMS(.1) BLK(.2) HIT(.2)
    Goalies
    W(6) L(-1) SHO(5) SV(0.1) GA(-0.2) GAA(Range of -1 to 8) SV%(Range of -1 to 8)
    Twitter:@RogerWi1co

  15. #15
    Mr. Guru's Avatar
    Mr. Guru is online now
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    4,252
    Location
    Toronto
    Rep Power
    39

    Dobber Sports Genius

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by newfcollins View Post
    High school.

    I actually like the 'can't give a 46-49' rule.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •