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 Traditional grading: The great demotivator (Robert Talbert, Ph.D. )
So what do we do about this? For me, the course of action is clear: We need to walk away from traditional grading --- in which I include not only multi-interval letter grades but also grades based on statistical point accumulation. We've seen enough. Grades are harmful to students' well-being; they do not provide accurate information for employers, academic programs, or even students themselves; and they steer student motivations precisely where we in higher education do not want those motivations to go. There is no coherent argument you can make any more that traditional grading is the best approach, in terms of what's best for students, to evaluating student work. If we value our students, we'll start being creative and courageous in replacing traditional grading with something better.
Robert Talbert, Ph.D. discusses grading within university.
Bookmarked Dear Report Cards, You Suck. – BlogMoore 2018 (
The grade game is a big thing. Throughout the year every teacher and student will play it. This year we changed the game, and we changed our classroom. I was able to get feedback all the time. I was able to use technology. I learned to self-assess. I had time to revise and check my work which made my writing better. Because I showed evidence of growth and learning, I became a B student.
Year 6 student, Lynton, reflects on the problems with report cards and the power of technology to transform learning. This is interesting reading, especially in light of the work being done by ACER around growth and the new Gonski review, which is pushing for a focus on growth.