GRE Issue Essay 173
“The pressure to achieve high grades in school seriously limits the quality of learning. An educational environment without grades would promote more genuine intellectual development.”
It is true that a child is very sensitive. At a very tender age children are burdened by the requirements of education and achieving higher grades in school. There is an increased pressure over them to perform and prove themselves by getting good grades. This may have many consequences, out of which one can be a decline in the quality of learning. However, I also believe that grading in the education system has its own importance and cannot be done away with. I agree that the grading system can have many adverse effects on students and their studies, but I disagree with the part of the statement that says that educational system without grades would promote genuine intellectual development.
Competition in the field of education is ever increasing. There are a lot of expectations from children in terms of their performance in school. Due to these expectations there is an increased pressure over the kids to perform well and get higher grades. However, every child is different and has different capabilities. While some students can manage to work hard and retain most of the topics taught to them, there are others who are slow learners and are not as capable. Since it is not in the capacity of every child to grasp everything that is taught to him, it becomes difficult for him to learn him lessons. In such a case, if he are burdened all the more to get higher grades, he does not concentrate over understanding the material before learning, but goes on mugging up his lessons. This in turn results in a low quality of learning, since the concentration of students shifts from understanding the material to memorizing it.
The writer of the statement probably is of the view that removing the grading system would help because the students will not require to prove themselves by getting higher grades. However, an education system without any form of grading system also brings in many other problems. If there were no system to evaluate the performance of students, it would also bring non-serious attitude amongst students. I believe that having a system to grade the performance of students helps in determining a goal for them. It gives them motivation to work hard towards attaining the highest grade that they can get. If there were no grading in schools, many students would become careless towards studies, which again would result in a low quality of education.
Further, there must be some system of evaluation of students in the education system. Evaluating the performance of students teaches them to compete with each other. This prepares them for a higher level of competition in their colleges and later lives. If they would not face this evaluation in school, they would be helpless when they would face the outer world. I, therefore, believe that evaluation is a very important aspect of school education.
In the end, I would like to repeat that though a grading system puts pressure on students, which might result in a low quality of learning, an education system without any grading system will not be any better. There is no guarantee that an educational system without a grading system ensures genuine intellectual development. A grading system is a must to ensure that the students remain focused and do not take their studies lightly.