The necessity of the traditional grading system in schools is one of the most talked about subjects among my peers. While it is fun to chime in and rant about the stress that is caused by a letter, I would like to lay out the information and form an opinion based on facts rather than let my thoughts be persuaded by the mob mentality of conversations. So, is grading truly necessary?
I do have to admit, finding articles that are not opinion driven is quite challenging when talking about this particular topic. However, a friend of mine who attended a Montessori school as a kid suggested that I go look at the official website. While there, I found out about the Montessori Method which is a child-centered educational approach that focuses on teaching the students through individual help rather than teaching everyone one certain method. Its main target is making sure the students know the material that is taught rather than measuring their success from a few grades.
The Montessori schools also combine kids from different grades and place them in one classroom in order to help older students reinforce their learning by teaching the younger kids. This type of environment helps expose the kids to the real world where people of all different ages work together. Not only that, this educational method prepares students to solve problems and find solutions rather than just focusing their attention on remembering one answer/solution.The Montessori method is something that could potentially be used as an alternate way that accurately measures the knowledge of students rather than forming an assumption from how well students can memorize answers.
Although there seems to be better ways to increase the success of students, the traditional grading system has stuck around for many reasons.
I came across a New York Times article that talked about grades promoting competition between students which leads to better grades and higher grade point averages. One may argue that this type of competing leads to anxiety and a decrease in motivation to learn, however, since this method increases the likelihood of kids going to college, it is here to stay.
In the eyes of the school board who have never met the students and resort to judging them solely by their grades, they only have statistics that support their belief in their traditional ways. In other words, it is easier to look at a few numbers than to focus on every single kid and get them motivated to learn and continue their education in college.