I am very passionate about this week’s topics. To me, while grades play an important role in the education system, their role can also be misinterpreted to generate negative outcomes from the educational system. Grades have always been a good part of my education, and I have always link my progress of a class to the grades I make. Sometimes people complain that grades are not a reflection about how much you know or understand the class material, or how much you have studied int he process.
To me, grades play an important role in assessing how much material that your instructor wants you to, are you able to retrieve in a specific manner. i think grades, in general, are a good self indicator of your knowledge or an assessment of where do you need to work more. Getting a B in a test, to me, indicates that there is some material that I have not learn it yet, or that I need to revise it again. To me, this is a self-reflection process; which means that you can reflect and learn from a grade to improve in your next challenges. I think that grades help one-self to address issues for improvement.
On the other hand, grades have taken a different role, and they have become the way to evaluate and compare the final knowledge/outcome of an individual in comparison to the rest of the classmates. Nowadays we have distributions about how many A’s or B’s should a class have. It may seem that grades have taken over the overall education assessment.
Grades should play as an external motivator agent for the individual to self-assessment rather than for group placing. There is a case in Quito, where in 2000, an elementary school tried and experimented a new methodology where motivation came from the thrill of playing and not so much for the grades of tests. This was an experimental school where kids learned about math by playing to go grocery shopping, or learned language and grammar by writing letters to Santa, or play that their job is to respond to petitions, etc. This was a successful experiment, and the school became famous for it pedagogical methods. Perhaps it was too futuristic because no other schools adopted such methodology, but that school was recognized for its positive approaches to student learning.
Similarly in the real life work. There is the case of the Chilean State Bank that replaced the Human-resources department for a Happiness department. The goal was to reduce the turnover they were facing due to stress and other negative effects typical of banking jobs. More info here (oops, ti is in Spanish): https://massnegocios.com/rodrigo-rojas-foncillas-gerente-de-felicidad-bancoestado-microempresas-s-a-chile/. The results were splendid! The new purpose was to understand people and support them as part of a family, and not to treat them as workers who must finish specific tasks in a certain time.
Perhaps it is time to rethink grades from rewards that “narrow our view and let us focus to achieve it quicker; into creative, conceptual kind of concept.