In Ahead of the Curve, Ken O'Connor says,
"Grading as it has been done traditionally promotes a culture of point accumulation, not learning. It encourages competition rather than collaboration. It often focuses on activities instead of results. It makes all assessments summative (assessment of learning) because everything students do gets a score, and every score ends up in the grade book. " (p. 127)O'Connor also admits that eliminating grades is probably not going to happen anytime soon, so we, as educators, must work within the system to change the way we report student learning.
Recently, I've been working diligently to change the culture of the classroom to one more focused on learning and report grades in a standards-based fashion. It is admittedly a drawn out process and I'm far from the ideal. The more books and articles I read, the more assessment and grading seem like a giant running back coming full steam at my puny physical frame.
How are you tackling grades? Do your grading practices promote points or learning? How are you frame assessment as a learning tool in your classroom rather than as a reporting mechanism? Leave a comment below.