21 Oct No Zeros? The new motivator for slacker students
Recently an article was published in the Knox News Sentinel entitled No Zeros. It details a new policy created by a Sevier County Principal in which students can no longer be awarded zeros for missing assignments. Instead students are required to tun in the work, no matter how long it takes and with extensive consequences attached. An individual’s choices become a school wide concern. All of the teachers of this “slacker” student become involved in obtaining the missing work and use vehicles such as study hall, detention, and exclusion from school activities as the motivator. This policy is based on Dan Hill’s new book, Power of ICU: The End of Student Apathy … Reviving Engagement and Responsibility.
The Sevier county school claims that they have had tremendous success with this method and that for the first time they have 100% of assignments turned in.
I love this idea. I have always felt that the completion of the assigned task was more important than the grade. The gradesimply allows the adult to bring resolution to the matter, but gives the student a way out of completing the activity. No one can expect a elementary aged child to understand the long term impact of a zero on their overall grade, and teenagers who will often times demonstrate unmonitored impulsivity can also lack concern of the long term impact of not turning in an assignment. Additionally, the inclusion of zeros in a final grade do not reflect a student’s true mastery of the subject matter.
Furthermore, this policy emphasizes the school more as a community which is where I feel schools needs to move. Teachers, especially in middle and high schools, work independently of each other. In some ways they are even forced to compete. Is this in the best interest of our students? No one argues with the fact that students who come from a strong family dynamic are more likely to be successful in school than those who come from broken homes. In many ways, schools are like broken homes… they lack communication, common purpose, and a steady support system.
This is a fast and dirty blog this morning, I just wanted to get this up before the article disappears. Read and comment please!