The article, the case against grades by Michael Thomsen is based on the recent studies that have shown that US has ranked very low in terms of quality of education (Thomsen 1). Various people have tried to give their explanations behind the poor rank of US. Michael offers the opinion that the reason behind the poor education system is the grading system and not the lack of funds in schools or lack of proper standards. The aim of this paper is to explain why the grading system is the reason behind the poor rank of US education in the world.
The grading system is similar to negative reinforcement that cause more harm to the students creativity and instead encourage them to cram whatever is in books (Thomsen 1). The students who get A are encouraged to work harder and maintain the grades. On the other hand, who get lower grades feel very discouraged by their performance and instead of testing better methods of learning as well as testing new knowledge, they are persuaded to cram instead of adapting better methods of learning that make them better learners.
Division in class is as a result of the grading system used since the students value themselves in terms of the grades that they get in school. The individuals who perform well form their own group, and those who get lower grades have their own and due to low self-esteem, they are more likely to engage in deviant behaviours. The individuals from low-income families have low self-esteem, and when they join such groups, they are likely to perform poorly and this makes them engage in criminal activities (Thomsen 1). This is as opposed to education systems that view low performance by students as a sign of new learning strategies that the students are testing and with the proper support, they are more likely to work harder to perform better in their areas of choice. Those who get higher grades know that they are to pursue better degrees and get good pay in the future. Since they others are discouraged by their poor grades, they give up so easily and engage in criminal activities to seek for livelihood since they may not be willing to pursue careers that do not value in the society such as janitors.
The use of grades does not impart the needed skills and knowledge to the students since the grades may not tell whether the students have actually acquired the skills and knowledge required in the professions that they pursue (Thomsen 2). This is as compared to the education system where reading is based on passion, and as the students try new creative methods, their teachers support them and through apprenticeship, they acquire skills needed in the work environment. Since the instructors evaluate the students by evaluating their continuous improvement and this makes them better people since they can work once they are through with studies with the skills and the innovations they develop over time. In such education systems, individuals are happy to pursue what they like most and learning is not meant to please teachers and family members through good grades achievable through cramming, but through acquisition of important skills required in the work environment.
In conclusion, an appropriate learning system should bring the students together, help them work as a group, be creative in trying new methods applicable in their areas of study and make everyone happy because everyone is respected because of their unique abilities (Thomsen, 2). This can eliminate bad learning habits that focus more on grades and not passion that individuals have.
Thomsen M. "The case against grades: They lower self-esteem, discourage creativity, and reinforce the class divide." N.p., 2013. Web. <http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/05
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