School Grading System Unnecessary
The numeric grading system is used in the United States as well as in many parts of the world. In many cases, especially in higher education, the grades are given by the aggregate of the individual marks that the student gets from all the assignments and exams in all courses and units. In some cases, the grades are composed of the teacher’s evaluation as well as assessments in class. For all these cases, the grades are determined by the numerical performance of the students, with those with higher grades appearing to be more intelligent.
The grading systems, however, do not give the actual reflection of the student’s intelligence and may result in stress and other psychological issues to the students. The numerical grading systems are stressful for the kids and possibly lower their self-esteem. The extrinsic motivation of students to perform between in school, as reflected by the grades, does not help them after graduation, and all it may result in is depression for those students who graduate with what is considered a failing grade.
However, there are educationists, psychologists, experts, and scholars who feel that the grading systems are necessary for measuring the intelligence of the student and their ability to practice what they learn in the workplace. The schooling grading system does not reflect the intelligence of the students and only results in stress and low self-esteem among the students.
Kohn (28) opposes the numerical grading systems and argues that it is stressful for the kids. The kids and students, in general, may spend the whole night studying for a test to be taken the following day. After even spending all that time, the student may still fail in the exam. The results of such failure are depression and psychological challenges to the students. The system does not recognize other necessary factors in the students, such as a high level of discipline, handwork, respect, and talents.
When the student is marked as a failure based on the numeric results, they will get depressed and even fail to pay attention to other necessary qualities such as their talents. Generally, as noted by Ma (2), the numerical grading system fails to consider the general achievements of the students.
The grades have tremendous negative effects on the student’s life in school. Melrose (2) note that students carry the worries of the possibility of getting poor grades at the end of the semester throughout all the time in the term. The feeling is even worse for the students taking computer studies when they have challenges and anxiety with technology. The students feel great humiliation when they get lower grades at the end of the semester despite hard work throughout the semester.
In some cases, the students may get emotional and even cry because of poor performance. As explained by Reddan (224), this is because poor grades have mainly been perceived as for the failures and those people who cannot perform well in the labor market. The grading system mainly induces the performance orientation rather than mastery orientation. Mastery orientation is important in education since it focuses on attaining skills and competencies necessary in the workplace.
However, performance orientation focuses on numerical grades, which are not necessary after graduation. Students with performance motives only focus on appearing as competent without even considering whether they are high achievers or low achievers. Therefore, the possibility of not performing well only gives students worries and stress in the semester but does not have much value after graduation.
Melrose (3) explains that the numerical grading system diminishes the interest of the students in the area they are studying. The grade orientation and the learning orientation are significantly different and have different effects on the students. The learning orientation will motivate the students to do better in their students while the grade orientation will only kill their interest, and more so for the students who are not performing well in schools.
The logic behind this related to what happens when a student joins, for example, a 4-years course and starts performing poorly in the first years based on the numerical grading system. The student will lose focus and interest in their program and, therefore, will not attain the goals and the objectives of the programs. Reddan (229) note that, for example, the collection of the necessary information in the workplace and field doesn’t require tests while effectively sharing that information does not require grades.
Therefore, what the numerical grading system does is to force the students to carry the stress of this poor performance throughout their life in school as well as life after graduation. Yet, it doesn’t help them that much after graduation.
Other effects of numerical grading systems include weakening the thinking of the students, making students prefer easier tasks, and low self-esteem for the poor performers (Ma 13). In many cases, when the students get poor grades in school, they feel that all is over and that such conditions cannot be fixed. They feel demoralized and feel that such grades define their future.
If a student joins a class but cannot perform well, they will suffer from low self-esteem, a factor that contributes to psychological challenges. Therefore, to avoid the stress and other disadvantages that come with the numerical grading system, the educational systems should come up with a system that appreciates general achievements and pay attention to hard work, discipline, talents, and general improvements. Students may be faced with challenges such as sickness and loss of a family member during the exam period and therefore, may not be able to perform well. For such cases, the test and the numerical grading systems will only add stress to the students.
Some educationists feel that the grading system is valuable to the education system and oppose the argument that such systems result to stress among the children. They feel that the grading systems currently used in the United States and many countries across the globe are a reflection of the strengths and weaknesses as far as school and academics are concerned. Miller (112) argues that the numerical grading systems have no stressful impacts on the students and that it gives a clear and well-defined platform for the evaluation of the students in a manner that reduces discrimination in the education systems.
In this argument, scholars note that all the other suggested methods of grading and evaluation of students lack clear cut-lines and, therefore, can be discriminatory. Therefore, when the students know that they are competing on the same platform, they are assured of equality and therefore have less stress.
Rapaport (351) oppose the argument that the numerical grading system results in stress and other psychological issues among the students and notes that such systems give students a clear image of their intelligence and ability and therefore given them an evaluation technique to guide them in focusing on their strengths. Grant and Green (1565) support the numerical grading system by arguing that such systems motivate the students to do better in schools. The students will work hard in fear of failure in school and therefore improving their performance.
If what is taught in schools, therefore, is relevant, the students will be more useful to society since they will work hard to attain the necessary competencies and skills required in the workplace. The systems give a well-defined criterion to measure the progress of the students. The assignments grades are awarded to the students based on their performance and quality of work, and they are not in any way related to stress among the students. The hard work of the students in later life may determine whether such students will have high or low self-esteem.
The grading system, therefore, does not have many psychological effects on the students.
The numerical grading system is used in many countries across the globe. The grades are mainly based on the cumulative performance of the student in different assignments and tests throughout the program. Some scholars and experts feel that the systems give a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the students and are opposed to the argument that such systems result in stress, among other psychological challenges among the students. However, the grading systems have been accused of assuming other strengths of the students and resulting in stress among the students.
The worry of possibilities of poorly performing at the end of the semester keeps the students with fear and stress throughout the terms. The systems also stress kids who spend time studying but end up failing and also make the student lose interest in the programs they are studying if they fail in their first year. Further, the system lowers the esteem of the students who fail in school and therefore extend their psychological problems. The system should, therefore, be abolished since it is unnecessary.