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Peter Rock

The act of giving grades/marks to students should be abolished. Of course, teachers should keep marks for their own records to reflect upon and track their students' progress, but they should never be given to students.

Grades are a way to compare one student with another. This is not educational at all. This is an unfortunate competitive tradition that distracts from the process of learning and the endeavor to turn students on to life-long learning.

Unfortunately, many educators either reject this position due to their inherent belief (whether conscious or not) in behaviorism (i.e. grades "motivate" students) or agree with this position intellectually but feel that it is impossible to change the status quo.

Schools should work to eradicate grades at all levels starting with elementary school and up. The biggest hurdle is the perception that colleges demand GPAs and so grades must be given to high school students. This is not necessarily true. But one solution is to make grades optional. I've done this in the past. That is, I don't say - "I don't give grades." but I say "By default, I don't give a grade for this class. But if you want a grade then you can request one and I will do as you wish."

The bottom line is, students need constructive feedback on their progress. Grades are in direct opposition to this need.

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