Does grading school work hurt learning and society? | Richard Wells | 3 Min Read

This is my third post in a series looking at assessment and how the questions are increasingly being asked about how, when, and why we assess in schools. I will be again explaining how New Zealand has started solving assessment issues whilst boosting learning. In this post, I wanted to concentrate on the core activity of grading work, a seemingly essential ‘tool’ in the education “factory.” Rather than just give my opinion, I think it’s best to explore grading from multiple perspectives.

In the last month, two math professors from opposite sides of the globe appeared in different posts presenting two very different arguments against grading. This is a good place to start. Math after all would be the subject many people think of first when it comes to testing and grades. My 20 years of experience working with math teachers would indicate that most would struggle to imagine a world without tracking and reporting test scores as a measure of success. 

Grading versus Learning

The first post included math professor, Jo Boaler, who argues against test scores on behalf of learning. Boaler contends that the test becomes the focus instead of the math, and even the core…

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Richard Wells

Richard Wells is a world-recognized educator, author and blogger on future education trends. He has presented around the world and has been rated in the top 50 world influencers for educational technology use. He currently works in school leadership and is passionate about moving schools forward to better represent the needs of the 21st century. Richard is an EdTech influencer who founded EduWells, a top 10 education blog. He is the author of A Learner's Paradise, a book in which he explains how education can operate without classrooms, lessons, subjects, and tests. Richard proudly started his career with a degree in Fine Art from Manchester in England. He worked in IT before contracting to work in schools, digitalizing their workflows in the late 1990s. He became an educator in 2003.