Why replacing the traditional grading system with the curve system is better for administering grade

Both colleges and high schools began replacing other forms of assessment with letter and percentage grades in the early 20th century. While grading systems appear to be fairly standardized in the U.

Why replacing the traditional grading system with the curve system is better for administering grade

The problem with traditional grading is that students have good reasons to worry about their grades, and yet being grade-oriented undermines the most important goals of liberal arts education.

Most undergraduate students are at an identity-forming stage of their lives, and so they are looking within and outside of themselves for clues about who they are and what they should do with their lives. It seems obvious to students to look to their grades in order to read what the world is telling them their strengths and weaknesses are.

This way of thinking is often explicitly reinforced by parents, professors, and prospective employers. Grades also have acquired increasingly powerful social force. Grades then become a form of currency, a symbolic means to negotiate a vast network of relationships and opportunities.

Learning to operate in a system in which motivation is controlled by currency is an important life skill for people to learn to be successful in our culture, but is this really the purpose of liberal arts education?

The savvy student, then, aware of the social functioning of grades, has good reasons to take grades seriously. The problem is that an orientation towards education mediated by grades is not necessarily the best attitude a student can adopt to reap the full benefits of the most important goals of liberal arts education.

Why replacing the traditional grading system with the curve system is better for administering grade

Grades are essentially numerical and thus can only be appropriately applied to what is measurable, but not everything that is measurable is always measured in a course of study. A student too oriented towards getting good grades can miss or neglect those components of the course that are not graded.

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Furthermore, what is measurable is not always what is most important in liberal arts education. There are many qualitative ideals underlying the purpose of liberal arts education that cannot be measured on a comparative scale of quantifiable achievement. In fact, some of these qualitative goals cannot be definitively judged by a teacher—students themselves are in a better position to evaluate these dimensions of their learning.

Research in cognitive science and developmental psychology reveals that human learning is extraordinarily complex. Students themselves are in a better position to judge many of the qualitative dimensions of their learning, as well as some quantitative dimensions, such as their sense of improvement, the intensity of their effort and engagement, whether they did all of the reading, how well they paid attention in class, and how significant their learning was for them.

Ultimately, such conflicts are resolvable through thoughtful, mutually respectful dialogue, but our society and our educational system do not teach students how to work through such difficulties, and so the easiest psychological tactic is for students to suppress their self-motivation and subvert their intellectual self-awareness to the authority of their teachers.

But developing self-awareness and developing self-motivation are exactly some of the qualitative ideals underlying the purpose of a liberal arts education.

Authentic engagement with the educational process is inherently frightening and difficult, exposing the student to a world larger and stranger than previously imagined, demanding that the student reconstruct a sense of identity in order to find her or his place in this newly expanded world.

In addition, authentic engagement with education demands that students push themselves to their very limits—a humbling enterprise requiring great personal strength. The only way that teachers can reasonably ask this of students is if the class can become a highly respectful and supportive environment: Challenges and criticism offered in a context of trust can be perceived and accepted as exciting calls to growth.

When students trust their teachers and their environment, they can open themselves to the often difficult personal transformation that authentic education inspires.

If, on the other hand, students feel that they cannot trust their teachers or their environment, they become guarded and try to play it safe.While grading systems appear to be fairly standardized in the U.S., debates about grade inflation and the utility of grades for fostering student learning continue.

Before Grades Universities have always evaluated students, but the modern grading system did not always exist. The problem with traditional grading is that students have good reasons to worry about their grades, and yet being grade-oriented undermines the most important goals of liberal arts education.

Students have good reasons to worry about their grades because of the powerful symbolic and social roles that grades play in students’ lives. Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin Mitral Valve Disease and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Page 3 -- Veterinary Resources.

Mitral Valve Disease Main Page; Research News -- Page 2. * Never grade on a curve.

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The number of good grades should not be artificially limited so that one student’s success makes another’s less likely. Stipulating that only a few individuals can get top marks regardless of how well everyone does is egregiously unfair .

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