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Essay on Traditional Grading System

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Traditional Grading System


Education is undoubtedly one of the most important parts of any human society. Without it human beings could not have been at the current point of time where we all know tremendously about life and the universe. We are now better off than we were. However, it is clear that there is still huge variety of phenomena waiting for our discovery. The most important objective of education is to help human beings pursue their burning desires to learn and reach their potential. In that way we progress. Therefore, it is vital to help or at least not hinder education to fulfill its goals.


Traditional grading system will be my focus of this essay. Grading as numbers or letters, a conventional way of assessing students’ achievement, is one part of education and has been lately in controversy in USA. The argument is that the conventional grading practice is not in support of the ultimate objectives of education. In fact, it is in conflict with the values of education. Thus in this essay, I will argue that traditional grading does not play the role it is supposed to play and it is time to have a new and better alternative to this.

Before we move our attention directly to the problems of marking system, let us take a short look at the history of early American colleges and universities. It is interesting to note that in the earliest days of Harvard, students were not sorted by alphabets or grades, but by the social status of their families. Moreover, it is quite clear that there was a sort of assessment used for student works until the grading system was invented. It was at Yale, Harvard and Mount Holyoke that the widely used three types of grading system - 4 scale, 100 percentage and letters – were invente...


... middle of paper ...


...mmendation might be the future of selection of students for jobs and graduate schools.


Work Cited:

Alfie Kohn, “Grading: the issue is not how but why”, Educational Leadership, Oct 1994, v52, n2, p38(4).

Christina Couch, “Going without grades”, The CollegeBound Network

Clifford H. Edwards; Laurie Edwards, “Let’s end the grading game”, The Clearing House, May-June 1999, v72, i5, p260(4)

Clifford H. Edwards, “Grade Inflation: The effect on educational quality and personal well being”, Education, Spring 2000, v120, i3, p538

Ken Myers, “Student in New York files suit complaining of grades received”, The National Law Journal, June 18, 1990, p4

Mark W.Durm, “A history of grading”, The Educational Forum, vol57, Spring 1993

Thomas R. Guskey, “Grading policies that work against standards…and how to fix them”, NASSP Bulletin, Dec 2000, vol84, n620


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