What Purpose Do Grades Serve?

1153 WordsNov 16, 20165 Pages
What purpose do grades serve? Does emphasis on earning high grades lead to better outcomes for high school graduates? I believe that pressuring children to earn high grades in school reduces the quality of education by taking the emphasis off of learning and placing it onto achieving a grade. Human beings are natural learners. We come into this world eager to learn as much as we can in each moment. It’s hard wired into us to explore our environment and discover how everything works – from our own bodies by learning to walk, talk, eat, and dress ourselves, to taking apart an old radio and putting it back together again just to see how the machine works. Parents clap and cheer when their baby takes his first steps, and their heart swells when their daughter succeeds in putting that radio back together. Does attaching an outside opinion to the “quality” of a person’s learning experience, in the form of a grade, change a child’s desire to learn? I believe so. Using a means of evaluation and tracking progress in the educational process may serve a purpose, but the evaluation itself does indeed impact the quality of the education it attempts to evaluate. If the goal of education is to shape young minds and prepare them for the future, it is important to consider how and when and at what age to evaluate. Failing to do so does hamper a child’s desire to learn. A student on Alfie Kohn’s blog writes “I remember the first time that a grading rubric was attached to a piece of my
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