Banning marking - Good in theory, bad in practice
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A school in Bristol has banned marking in an attempt to increase pupil’s confidence and receptivity of feedback. Gary Schlick, the head of Bedminster Down School in Bristol, states the issuing of grades combined with feedback creates negativity, where pupils will only take notice and attention of the grade, as opposed to ways in which they can improve their work. This sparks the debate over whether grades within the education system can actually be perceived to be negative and harmful towards confidence and attainment. Arguably, yes there is a debate which implies grades are harmful, however, this is only a result of academic pressure placed upon students to be successful. Of course, everyone should be encouraged to do the best they are capable of, but too often the British education system places a heavy focus on everyone obtaining a C or above, when in reality that is not always possible. The academic system expects perfection, and when this is not obtained or when the constant pressure exists to be perfect, the chances of poor mental health, whether depression or anxiety increases. It is, therefore, no surprise that one in ten young people experience mental health issues, many of which may be a result of an academic system which places more value on grades than on students freewill and wellbeing. However, though myself and many of those around me have been subjected to the pressures of the academic system, there is a certain sense of obtainment and succession created by achieving a high grade as a result of working hard and refusing to give in. In some ways, it is nice to get a piece of work back and see a bold A or B at the top of it, which helps to affirm the hard work is paying off. Truthfully, though some may argue grades hold little value outside of academia, the process of obtaining them does enforce good habits which prove beneficial in the working world. Where you are expected to complete tasks to a high standard on a daily basis. Overall, while grading holds its negative flaws, these are only a result of a system which needs to change its stance regarding expectations and perfectionism.
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