Monday, 20 August 2012

Grading systems in schools - a catalyst movement towards encouraging crammers instead of intelligent children

Teaching has become a kind of competition for children wherein everyone is trying to outrun the other. But they do not understand that this learning will not help them in practical world. What we need is a sound educational mechanism with innovative techniques instead of grading systems to make students independent and self-reliant.

Through this write-up; I don’t want to create any controversy or any heated discussion about the present education system. But normally all my blogs have concentrated on providing something different so that tutors as well as children can have interesting ways of thinking. This blog is going to reflect different ways through which grading systems have affected the children as a whole. Now traditional tutors will argue at this point and say that without grading systems it is impossible to evaluate the progress of a child. Now maybe they have a valid point. In fact today in the morning, I replied to a facebook post about an image that I had kept on Facebook. Now it was a very simple quote but yielded lot of attention from various sections of public at large. Let me share the experience with you and believe me this is all connected to the subject that I am discussing right now. 

The quote read as: “The flaw in the education system, as far as I see it, is that you live your life - the teacher and student – in quest of A’s. Yet later in life, the A is irrelevant.” Now this quote is from Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist. So this is not my quote but since I posted it on Facebook there were lot of reactions on it. I will not take the names of the users because of the privacy issue but it was quite interesting and debatable topic. There were certain people who were of the opinion that technology has developed so much that internet has become a new medium for education and there is no way to substitute that with the grading system. Now this is the view of one of the users. While others were of the opinion that if we drop this yardstick of evaluating children and substitute them with social media tools it would become very difficult to make students study through conventional methods like books. While others quoted that if you only make children learn and re-learn to gain knowledge there would be no yardstick to judge their skills.

I defer from this opinion. I have already enumerated in that particular discussion that if a child does not find a thing interesting he/she would not be involved in the studies thoroughly. The current teaching mechanism has its own flaws which need to be overcome only through making education fun-loving for children. If you give provide guidance and introduce creative ways of teaching students in a way that they love it they would no longer need an evaluation method or a grading system. It will all be just a mandatory provision just for the sake of it. This very idea makes me very interested in developing such a concept in the current education system. I have already written quite a few blogs on innovative teaching methods for math and English. Let me give you the links for the same. Copy and paste these links to a separate browser to have a quick overlook on what I presume about the way education should be for children:

So once you have been through these blogs you will appreciate my idea of creating a knowledge based education system which should let children decide their own evaluation. The idea would be to give creative end of the chapter activities for children especially for online tutors. Now the only reason for giving preference to online tutors is that they normally do not get the chance to have much interaction with children and need to provide something creative in order for the parents and children to enroll for their course. There is lot of competition in this field and there is no respite. Hence; I am highlighting these points from the perspective of online tutors.

Now, we don’t want our future generation to be people who get straight A’s in their schools and colleges but are duds as far as practical exposure is concerned. The idea is to integrate practical components early on in the studies in such a way that theory and practical approaches both get equal importance. The primary objective should be to provide knowledge to the children in the best possible creative manner. Now by being creative I mean being different. Use different teaching techniques for different children as no two children have the same grasping power. This has already been discussed in my previous blogs. But it is very important to enumerate this point for this subject. If you look at the end of the chapter activities blog you will find that I have never focused on the grading system because only grades do not reflect the intellectuality of the child. A child can have an exam-fever because of which he/she may not be able to provide adequate answers; but if you ask them to provide the answers without mentioning the word test or exam they do excellent in it. Hence; knowledge is bliss; and it should not be confused with evaluating methods. These methods were created to instill competition amongst children. But do we still need the same ideology after hundreds of years.

 Traditional teachers would now argue that without evaluation methods it will become very difficult to gauge the progress of the child. But who says that we do not need evaluation methods? The only thing is that the word exam/test should change to activities. Now we should have different creative activities which encourage the child to showcase their hidden talents. Knowledge can only be delivered if the child is ready to accept it.
You might have heard the phrase:

You can take the horse to the pond but cannot make him drink it.

In the same ways if you do not understand what a child wants you cannot provide knowledge to him/her. It is a difficult proposition even for God to make them understand anything if they are not in the mood to study. Hence, there is a need to change the evaluation techniques and make it easier and comfortable for children. It should be more like an activity than an evaluation exercise. Hence, I said in the beginning that grading system has actually impacted the children in a very negative way. Now they are carrying loads of books in schools, are involved in lots of activities and are way too tired to solve your quizzes and boring tests. Hence; I call all the tutors and teachers to contribute further; and share your knowledge about innovative teaching techniques by contributing something innovative and different from what has been taught since traditions. We are looking at the 21st Century education hence we should be different. Our thoughts should be innovative and path-breaking so that we can pave way for a bright future for the approaching generations.

I know you would say that we are back to square one from where we started in this blog. But do you really think that changes can be made in the current education paradigm in a single day or a single thought? It is a gradual process.

I would like to end this blog by mentioning a quote written by Eleanor Roosevelt,

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Hence; I want as many teachers and tutors to participate in discussions related to this topic and comment on this blog as much as possible. Remember we are doing this for the future generations to follow. Post your invaluable comments and suggestions about the blog by following us at:,

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