ERIC Number: EJ865384
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 5
Adjusting Grades? Let Ethics Be Your Guide
Martinson, David L.
Kappa Delta Pi Record, v45 n3 p122-126 Spr 2009
Among a number of lessons, this commentary suggests that oftentimes the grade a student receives in a class is not truly reflective of what that student learned. Certainly, assigning grades--at least for those who take their role as educators seriously--is one of the toughest tasks confronting the classroom teacher. Again and again, one reflects on whether the grade assigned a particular student was fair and truly indicative of that student's performance. Was it appropriate, for example, to give a low grade to a student who exhibited real enthusiasm for the subject matter, but did not do well on tests? What about the intellectually gifted student who did well on graded assignments, but appeared totally uninterested in the learning process? The basic thesis of this article is that the classroom teacher has, in fact, an ethical and moral obligation to move beyond a legalistic mind-set and consider "all" factors that are relevant to evaluating a student's performance. That some of these factors will be more difficult to quantify than others must not serve as a rationale for ignoring them and adopting a rigidly legalistic system. Though a rigid system may better protect the teacher from possible criticism, it does not genuinely measure student achievement. In this article, the author demonstrates that moving beyond a rigidly legalistic and formula-driven grading system need not be in conflict with at least the spirit of such educational reforms. Coexistence of the two approaches, though, requires champions of objective testing to be, at least to some degree, open to broader pedagogical considerations.
Descriptors: Evaluation Methods, Grading, Ethics, Teaching Methods, Teacher Responsibility, Student Evaluation, Moral Values, Teacher Behavior
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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