Do we need school marks?

The numbers one to five have the magic power that could lead to a quarrel or a generous gift. Why kids need the mark, says our author, and mother of two children.

Until sixth grade my daughter went to school with no marks. “Without marks” is entirely without stars, flags and other crafty tools of assessment used by teachers to bypass restrictions or how they seem to enhance the motivation for learning. The children did not have diaries, teacher’s journal. When in old movies daughter saw the passions seething around twos for a test or joke related to the kidnapping of a classy magazine, she truly didn’t understand why everyone’s so nervous. The important part of the educational process was just absent in her life, and with it — and the reason for the experience. The desire to learn and knowledge is not reflected. The class was only fifteen people (all happened at a private school), and the teacher knew all about each of them. Parents are also getting conscious and was aware of the level of training of their children.

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While teaching in a secondary school the daughter attended the school musical. Everything was traditional: the diary, grades, tests, exams. Imagine my surprise when I discovered, as the daughter of “worn” with his musical diary. She was incredibly important to the teacher recorded the rating results of each lesson. Even when the class was normal, “checkpoint”, she ran to the teacher and asked to be sure to put a note in the diary. The house saw to it that I signed in the right places. It was all a little game. Even at the tender age of daughter knew that music school — a thing optional and not really required. And deuces for reasons of accountability did not put there. And scores in the diary were once a means of communication between teachers and parents.

Perhaps, then worked the mechanism of the sandbox (“other people’s toys more interesting”), but for me this situation became an occasion to think over the question: whether the mark itself to children?

The teachers and the school administration use them as a simple metric of efficiency. Parents — actually for the same. How assessment is used by children — not very clear.

In General, talking about education, we very rarely proceed from the position of the main “heroes” of this industry. We are not in a hurry to stand on the side of those who break a lance. The imperative “must” for many of us, it is more convenient than having to think about what is actually fun, convenient, and nice for children. Our good intentions have paved more than one path to psychotherapists, and still, every generation of adults occurs on the old pedagogical rake “I know better”.

Frankly, when discussing this topic with friends and colleagues, asking children, I never came to any particular conclusion. On the one hand, mark — the most powerful lever for manipulation in the hands of “figures of power” — teachers and parents. Children understand this very well, feeling their dependence on the expressed in numbers views. On the other is an analogue of the salary. From the point of view of psychology, a high level (and high salary) increase social status. Of course, we told the children that the main thing — “that man was good”, but in real life money (in this case, mark) is one of the key measured success. The number is important because even preschoolers clearly that five candies are better than three.

The estimates and is the material expression. Of course, they are not converted literally in the same candies, but have the potential to reverse the manipulation of parents. You see, excellence is easier to beg for a new smartphone than losers.

This student smartphone: not least because in the days of diary keeping, they simply did not exist.

There is another moment. Child important understandable feedback. With all its imperfection, marks — a much more transparent category than a simple praise or condemnation. If they are still attached clear the scale of the success of “one or two mistakes — five, three mistakes, four” and so on for child forms a very distinct celebrates trajectory.

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Another thing is that a five-point system strongly enough to capture all the nuances of the process. Five classes, of which actually “work” four, because the number is not the mark, and the emotion of teachers, too few to specify value judgments. Five mistakes in a dictation for a student can be a complete failure. And a huge success for someone who normally makes not less than twenty per page. He and the other gets a three, which does not reflect the real situation.

One of my friends physics teacher explained to the children their policy as follows:

Imagine that physics is the tree on which you need to climb. Some of you someone’s cat, someone bear. To climb a tree they are generally easy. And some of you, for example, a Dolphin. It is unnatural for a Dolphin to climb trees. But if he manages to get at least on the lower branch, it becomes a magical super-Dolphin. And this Dolphin I’d put a fiver. The existing appraisal system is not working on the Dolphin by itself; it needs a sensible and common Manager.

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