Bookmarked More Schools are Throwing Out Grades, But are They All Clinging to the Same Alternative? (Etale – Embrace Mission-Minded Innovation)

Those who follow my work know that I have a a habit, some consider it a bad habit, of juggling too many projects at once. This is especially true when it comes to writing projects. Of course, all o…

Bernard Bull worries that too many have jumped onboard mastery as an alternative to grade-based learning. His concern is that the other options, such as self-determined learning, are often overlooked.
Replied to When will the ‘grade addiction’ end? Probs never. (Bianca Hewes)

This experience reminded me that our young people learn this addiction to grades from us, the adults. They don’t desire a mark or a grade for the mud pie they make and proudly display when they are 3. They don’t want to be given a piece of paper with an A on it when they learn to ride a bike. We make this unnatural framework for their learning, and often all it does is create anxiety, perfectionism, conflict, competition and, worst of all, not great learners.

I have always loved your use of ‘Medals and Missions‘ to support students in becoming more self-determined learners. It also reminds me of a post from Bernard Bull arguing that letter grades are the enemy of authentic and humane learning.
Bookmarked The Downside of Checking Kids’ Grades Constantly by an author (nytimes.com)

Digital grade portals were designed to improve home-school communication by allowing students and parents to monitor grades and attendance throughout the year so there are no surprises at report card time. In theory, a parent who checks the portal has the opportunity to stay on top of a child’s performance and facilitate support for the child if performance slips.

The reality, at least in high-pressure school districts, is that some parents interpret the school’s invitation to constantly monitor grades and scores on the portal not as an option, but as an obligation. This obligation adds to the mounting anxiety students and parents feel in these districts.

Jessica Lahey discusses the other side to anytime, anywhere access. The effort to irresistably engage parents can lead to an increase in anxiety and a devaluing of student-teacher relationships, relevance and student engagement. It is also interesting to consider where SeeSaw and danger of the digital dump.
Bookmarked Letter Grades are the Enemy of Authentic & Humane Learning
Bernard Bull discusses how grades work against authentic and self-determined learning. Although they are ingrained in education, he recommends considering the aspects of life free from grades and having these conversations with others.

What is interesting is this is only one post being shared at the moment. Bill Ferriter shared his concerns about the association between standard grades and fixed mindset, while Will Richardson argues that grades only matter because we choose to let them matter.

This continues some of the points discussed in Clive Rose’s book The End of Average and Jesse Stommell’s presentation on grades and the LMS. It is also something that Templestowe College has touched in the development of alternative pathways to higher education.