During #crazypln chat the other day some things really had me thinking about grades. The tweet "Students can learn without grades, but they cannot learn without timely, meaningful and personalized feedback" resonated with me so much.
So what do grades really teach us? How do they prepare us for life? Is this an essential life skill? Does it hit a core competency? Is it a lifelong skill needed?
Not really. Can you think of the last time your husband or wife graded you as a spouse, cleaner, cooker or mate? Have your children graded you as a parent? Do you anxiously wait for your grades 3 times a year at your job so you know how you are doing?
No this is not life. As an educator my goal is to help students to prepare for life and excel in what ever they choose. Never again in their life will they be graded but they will get authentic and meaningful feedback. So why are were grading students and not looking at the learner as a whole and acknowledging their learning and growth through personalized feedback. Are we just stuck in the "this is the way it always was" syndrom.
As a parent (who is an educator), I never care about the mark, I am more interested in what the teacher says about my child. I know the game of school report cards, so i am looking to see what the teacher really feels about my sons learning. The comments are the real indicator of his growth. I want to know the truth and not just a prescribed number. So this makes me wonder if other parents do the same.
Also do the grades me anything to the student. Would we not better help their learning and growth by giving feedback and encouraging the learning journey?
Just my pondering today. Hmmm