Search results for: Grades
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In Jewish schools, where we’re concerned with students’ spiritual growth and want our children developing in emotionally and socially successfully ways, an emphasis on grades can run counter to these religious and psychological goals. After all, is there some tally for how a child has deepened religious practice or grown spiritually? Should there be? And what about the progress a child has made in becoming more organized, collaborating successfully on a project, or learning to manage time and emotions well? The latter skills translate into a productive adulthood, but we don’t often stop to teach them, much less measure them in some quantifiable way. So, these are the limitations of grades: they measure some very precise things that some kids can do very well, but they leave us without information about important types of competencies that students may or may not be developing, because grades generally don’t address religious, social, and emotional growth.
Updated: Nov. 14, 2018
I am passionate about this subject, nowhere more than in Jewish studies in Jewish day schools. You’ll argue that if we don’t give kids grades, they won’t take their classes seriously. I argue that most kids aren’t taking bad teaching seriously anyway. They’re just throwing away a love of subject to something more worthy, where they feel good about themselves. A Talmud teacher confessed to me that he had an excellent student but gave him a B-plus because he often came late to class. Not surprisingly, that student disengaged from Talmud study altogether. He saw his teacher as a person with the wrong priorities. Think about it. Most of us can’t remember what we learned years ago. We remember feelings about certain teachers that got transmitted to the subjects they taught. Associations linger.
Updated: May. 30, 2018