Which learning trend captures your attention the most, and why?
Standards-based grading. I don’t know a lot about it, but it seems to be a really great way of evaluating students.
If you haven’t heard of standards-based grading, here is a short definition of it from The Glossary of Education Reform:
In education, the term standards-based refers to systems of instruction, assessment, grading, and academic reporting that are based on students demonstrating understanding or mastery of the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn as they progress through their education. In a school that uses standards-based approaches to educating students, learning standards—i.e., concise, written descriptions of what students are expected to know and be able to do at a specific stage of their education—determine the goals of a lesson or course, and teachers then determine how and what to teach students so they achieve the learning expectations described in the standards.
In the United States, most standards-based approaches to educating students use state learning standards to determine academic expectations and define “proficiency” in a given course, subject area, or grade level. The general goal of standards-based learning is to ensure that students are acquiring the knowledge and skills that are deemed to be essential to success in school, higher education, careers, and adult life. If students fail to meet expected learning standards, they typically receive additional instruction, practice time, and academic support to help them achieve proficiency or meet the learning expectations described in the standards. Standards-based learning is common in American elementary schools, but it is becoming more widely used in middle and secondary schools.
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I believe that using standards-based grading in a school would be a great way to show how much students know. I truly believe that numerical and letter grades that we have used for so many years can be misleading. I do not believe that every student who has left my classroom with an “A” knows all the information I expected of them throughout the course. I also do not believe that the students who left with a “C” truly only knew 80% of the material I expected of them. Although I believe my grades are becoming more accurate as I teach, I still don’t think they are a true representation of what skills and knowledge my students have when they leave.
One challenge with standards-based grading is that is usually has to be a school-wide decision. It is very challenging to translate standards-based grades to traditional grading systems. I would love to hear more from people who have used this system in their classroom or school. Please comment below!