In a post written by Scott McLeod, he laments:
One of the students in my data-driven decision-making class (for discussion purposes, let’s call her ‘Jen’) posted this in our online discussion area:
Most grading at the high school level is more reflective of responsibility (just handing things in) and not on whether the student has truly mastered the content.
What do you think? Do you agree with Jen’s initial statement?
- What does ‘true mastery of content’ mean (or look like) for secondary students?
- Does high school grading really get at the idea of student responsibility?
- If yes to #2, is ‘handing things in’ a good measure of student responsibility?
- Does student regurgitation of low-level factual recall items on quizzes and tests constitute ‘handing things in’ or ‘mastery?’
Most grading at the high school level is more reflective of responsibility (just handing things in) and not on whether the student has truly mastered the content.There are a lot of issues embedded in this short sentence. For example…
I’d like to take that further and say…How about Middle School students? So much of what our teachers assign is graded based on effort. (I’m guilty of it too!!) I feel, the ‘true mastery of content’ comes at the end of a semester or the end of a school year when a midterm or final are given.
Take little Johnny for example:
Johnny doesn’t do any classwork. He doesn’t turn in homework. He doesn’t participate in class. He’s rude, obnoxious, and disrespectful. You have referred him to guidance, but they’re no help. You’ve contacted his parents, but you find some of the same behavior coming out of them. But, on test days Johnny gets A’s on his tests. He doesn’t do anything all year, but get A’s on his test.
As a teacher…is this frustrating or rewarding? Has he mastered the content?