8. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Grades (marks) encourage students to learn.
Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
"Exams are the teachers' tools; marks are the students' destiny." ( A Chinese Saying )
"I try to instill a sense of intrinsic reward in the students. I'd rather see a student learn for the sake of learning than for the sake of a car." ( Reagan Hawkins )
"Blessings on your young courage, boy; that's the way to the stars." ( Virgil, "Aeneid" )
- in education, a grade ( or mark ) is a teacher's standardized evaluation of a student's work;
- so school grades ( or school marks ) are the equivalent of money ( wage / salary ) received by adults for their work;
- the analogy with money implies that school grades can be good stimulants for a student's work;
A. School Grades : Encouraging the "Rewards' Competition"
- learning is its own reward, but ( some ) kids respond best to cash;
- I read about an American kid whose grades got higher when his parents started offering $ 5 for A's and $ 4 for B's;
- another American kid admitted rewards are a great way to motivate him;
- for this reason, parents tend to think of different rewards to offer their kids for good grades;
- students in Nederland, Texas, told Reagan Hawkins, their teacher, that they will get a new car for A's;
- but their parents will downgrade the deal to a used car if they get B's;
- adults who promise money, gifts or privileges say their children study harder when the stimulants / incentives are on the table;
- the lesson they hope to teach is that rewards require work;
- the trick is to make sure that students develop a natural love of learning along the way;
- but Virginia Shiller, a clinical psychologist and author of "Rewards for Kids", suggests that rewards should be based on weekly progress, not on long term report cards;
- this way parents are forced to pay more attention to how their kids struggle and when they make small victories;
- and this way the system of rewards comes to attain its good aim, that is to reward good study habits, and not just good grades;
B. School Grades : Encouraging the "Selves' Competition"
- in most of the cases, school grades are good indicators of knowledge;
- a high mark reflects a high level of understanding; a low mark - a low level of understanding;
- students like to measure up with the expectations of Parents, Teachers and other Peers;
- high marks encourage competition - the competition of selves;
- the competition of selves in the battle for higher grades is a normal stage in the development of the understanding of the role of grades in school life;
- I think every schoolchild or student at least one time in his or her school life asked himself / herself if he / she was better or worse than their classmates;
- grades encourage students to compete with each other, but by this they can learn, can gain more experience and knowledge, and be more self-confident and persistent;
- grades introduce competitiveness into the classroom;
- in this competitiveness, every normal kid wants to be the best;
- and the small victories upon others - an intermediate stage in their GRADES BATTLE, can help them win and succeed in the future;
- and what is this future ?
- of course, the competition with ONE SELF, that is MY SELF;
C. School Grades : Encouraging the "Self's Competition"
- normally, all students want to get good grades;
- because with good grades they can have a diploma after graduation;
- they also know that with good grades they can apply for higher education or find a job more easily;
- but getting good grades should not be a purpose in itself;
- studying for grades' sake does not make one excellent in something;
- when students understand that grades are the reflection of their own VALUES they enter the competition with themselves;
- grades encourage students to learn more only if they care about their future;
- and the students who think about their future know that it matters in this competitive world to be better than others;
- grades can sometimes determine a student's preferrence and encouragement to bring out the best in him / her in that area or field he / she did better in;
- some students ( usually poor schoolchildren or students who did not receive rewards from their parents ) feel the pressure of competition with his/her own SELF earlier, and this makes them TRUE WINNERS;
- so whether grades encourage students to learn or not depends hugely on the student's point of view, on his / her inner motivation, and on his / her personality;
- school grades can / may encourage in schoolchildren / students the COMPETITION for REWARDS - a normal stage in the development of understanding the role of school grades in their school lives;
- school grades can / may encourage in schoolchildren / students the COMPETITION with "OTHER SELVES" - a normal stage in the development of understanding the role of school grades in their school lives;
- school grades can / may encourage in students the COMPETITION with "ONE SELF" ( that is MY SELF ) - the last stage ( and the most desirable one ) in the development of understanding the function of school grades in their school lives;