The Case Against Grade

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Nathan Nguyen Professor Mary Composition I 14 September 2012 In the article “The Case Against Grades,” Alfie Kohn argues that grades make students afraid of explore new things; tests and quizzes are not the ways to measure knowledge .“Assessment-based grading” creates an allusion on how well are students doing in a numerical way. The effects of grading can come in numerous ways. Kohn indicates three crucial conclusions of grading: decrease in self-motivation, diminish in taking scholarly risk and “reduce in quality of students’ thinking”. Don’t on the students, they’re only listening to the message; they’re rational. For many years, adults have send them the message success is more important than learning. A research shows that a “grading orientation” and a “learning orientation” can’t not be exist at the same time; this means if a student has a high “grading orientation” most likely that student will have a low “learning orientation” and vice versa. No contemporary researches have shown different result. “Assessment-based grading” or extrinsic motivation tends to diminish intrinsic motivation and by that Kohn means students only care whether if the materials will be on the test, but not “How do I know if that is true?”. Cheating, fear of failure are just some of the examples that existing in the graded-oriented environment. Measureable outcomes are necessary but it doesn’t mean that teachers have to turn everything into numbers; in fact grades are the “least significant results of learning”. Although the absence of “assessment-based grading” is a necessary; teachers should consider these following grading techniques: replace numbers and letter with rubrics, prepare students to every test without fortify their knowledge, post grades online only add more destructive effects on learning, students are willing to read your comments about their works and finally
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