In 2005, I damn near quit teaching.
I was disgusted by so much of what traditional school does to people. I was tired of assigning homework and then nagging kids to do it – and even when they did do it, they simply went through the motions, hating every minute of it.
I was tired of grading stuff – spending hours providing helpful comments, only to watch them look at their own grade and then their neighbors – leaving the assignment on the floor, the comments unread.
But rather than pulling the plug on what would have been a very short teaching career, I decided to change. I began my own little ‘teaching revolution’.
I read and researched.
For five years, I have abolished grading from my classroom. Yes, I have to give a mark on the report card, but that’s it.
And here is what I have to share with you. Here are a series of blog posts that attempt to summarize my five year experiment with abolishing grades.
I hope you can take something from these posts and be bold and couragous enough to provide yourself and your students the opportunity to experience learning as it should – gradeless and for the love of learning.
No Good Reason to Grade – here’s why there really is no good reason to grade
Museum of Education – here’s why we need to abolish grading
The Folly of Rubrics and Grades – here’s why rubrics and grades are so subjective and ultimately don’t measure up to the task.
What leads to success? – here’s how grades are at best unhelpful and at worst harmful towards our ultimate goals for children.
Abolishing Grading Video – character education and collaboration – here is a 5 minute video on how grading sabotages the best kinds of character education and collaboration
Grading Effort: Unintended Consequences – here’s why we shouldn’t grade effort.
Grades are artifically sabotaging one kid at a time… – here’s how grading sabotages learning.
Destructive Grading Schemes – here’s more on how grading sabotages learning
Grades & Risk Aversion – here’s even more on how grading sabotages learning
End Grading’s Reign of Extrinsic Terror – here’s how grading sabotages motivation
Grades are Distracting – here’s an example of how grading can distract us from real learning.
Information vs Reward and Punishment – Jerome Bruner and John Wooden both agree, rewards and punishment must go. Because grades are a judgement, they serve no real purpose in learning.
Pink, Godin, Kohn and asymptotes – Grades get learning wrong because they are linear but learning is an asymptote.
Replacing Grading – here’s how I replaced grading even though I still have to place a grade on the report card.
Assessment Malpractice – here’s a brief summary of the two kinds of assessment: formative and summative.
Fears of Abolishing Grading – here’s what scares us
Detoxing students from grade use – if you chose to abolish grades, here’s how students may react. 6 steps based on my 5 year study.
No Grades and Group work – here’s a true story how having no grades can make group a beautiful thing.
I blog everyday about topics like this at www.joebower.org