I have addressed how teachers and students can look past grades, marks and other extrinsic motivators, however there is another group that needs to get on board and they are parents.Some of my friends, who teach the younger grades and are trying to abolish grades and homework, have informed me there is a pushback from parents.
First, there is not one shred of evidence that supports the idea of homework in elementary grades.Parents need to be aware of this fact.After watching the movie “Race to Nowhere”, and reading many research papers, it has become very evident that elementary kids should not have homework stress outside of school.Unfortunately, homework is not the only thing adding stress; grades create stress as well.
The truth is that for most students, the above picture is actually their life outside of school. Your high achievers are becoming stressed to maintain their high grades, while your low achievers are stressed in keeping their head above water.
How do we cut down this stress?Parents need to stop asking the following questions:
“What did you get on your test?”
“What is your mark in the class?”
“Do you have any homework?”
“When is your next report card?”
The questions should be replaced with:
“What did you learn today?”
“Is there anything you are not understanding in class?”
“Did you have fun today?”
"Is there anything else you would like to learn about what you learnt today?
Society needs to start focusing more on the learning occurring and less on the ranking of students.In reality, what do marks really do? RANK students!Do parents send their children to school, to be ranked or to learn?I hope the latter is the answer, and if so why are the questions about school focusing on the ranking and not learning?