The problem with grades: Are they worth keeping?

2020-11-15T21:19:35+00:00November 15th, 2020|myths|

Grades are so much a part of the educational landscape that it's hard to imagine what schools would be like without them. In the debate over whether or not we should retain exams this year, no one is suggesting we should do away with 1-9 GCSE grades. But what if we did? Clearly, this is unlikely to happen anytime soon, but maybe it's worth conducting something of a thought experiment. In 10 Things Schools Get Wrong, Jared Cooney Horvath and David Botts, propose that grades are one of the things schools are currently getting wrong. They make the point that grades are [...]

If you grade it, it's not formative assessment

2011-09-02T22:14:22+01:00September 2nd, 2011|assessment|

Having a bit of a crisis of confidence. Canadian teacher and education reformer, Joe Bower tweeted the title of the post this morning. That's not right I thought, I can provide formative feedback on a piece of work which helps students make progress whilst also giving them a grade as a useful signpost to measure their progress against. I took it upon myself to tell Joe as much. He sent me a link to Education's Rotten Apples which summarises Ruth Butler's research which shows that the damage of giving grades trumps feedback. It says, "What happens when states offer performance-based assessments, [...]

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