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grades at school- is PASSED enough?
Thread poster: Amanda Canoska

Amanda Canoska  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 07:51
English to German
+ ...
Nov 27, 2016

Hello everyone,

I was just finishing translating an article about school systems and grades ( in northern part of europe), I have noticed that lately there is the tendency to "quit" grades.
Many school institutions are switching to PASSED or NOT PASSED or they use nothing, no grades in any form.

What do you think about it? Significant member of countries are following.

Let me know what you think,



[Bearbeitet am 2016-11-27 21:11 GMT]

[Bearbeitet am 2016-11-28 09:03 GMT]


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DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
I suppose Nov 27, 2016

My grades have never been looked at, except when gaining entrance for Bachelor and Master's studies. When so much boils down to your resume or screening interview these days, I'd argue grades aren't so important, as long as the requirements to pass are hard!

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DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
On that note.. Nov 27, 2016

I've never seen anyone posting their grades on their ProZ profiles! Would it help me to say that I consistently received High Distictions for Thai in my studies? I'd think that ought to be assumed, anything less and it'd make life as a translator a lot more difficult!

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Passed/Not passed Nov 27, 2016

Hmmm. Maybe it's an American plague, to overprotect what they assume is a fragile ego or self-esteem in a student? Whatever the cause, I despise that lack of precision.

Schools aren't getting better now, are they?



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Amanda Canoska  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 07:51
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Schools are getting better Nov 28, 2016

Schools using this system swear that the students have never been better.
Because they learn not to for the sick of a good grade but for them self.

Also the system includes changing common school subjects or get rid of them in the classic form too.
For examp. the students have "Restaurant" Workshops where the learn how to calculate (maths), using PC (ICT), communicate (basic eng.) and using practical skills ( like cooking, decorating -beeing creative, serving, dining).

By the way, schools are almost free of paper, all goes via Ipad, Tablet , Pc or similar.

In my opinion, it is great, it is time the school system to change, to adapt to our needs today in order to keep up whit the requirements of todays world, as these are by far not the same as they were 100 years ago.


I hope, I will get as many opinions about this as possible because I will do a research on this subject and publish it.

Many thanks for your comments and sharing your opinion

[Bearbeitet am 2016-11-28 09:01 GMT]

[Bearbeitet am 2016-11-28 09:05 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:51
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Abolish all grades Nov 28, 2016

I am against all forms of grading.

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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:51
Member (2014)
English to German
Changes Nov 28, 2016

From my experience, things do change, grades have changed to, e.g. "developing", "expected" and "exceeding" or other forms, which appears rather woolly, however, these three areas are based on certain expectations and are further divided into lower and higher areas of that band, e.g. expected achievement for year group, but close to exceeding. There are more comments now, which do appear a bit generic to me on the whole, but nice to have, although it must be a lot of work for the teachers. But in a nutshell, the above is nothing much else than the old grades.

In terms of curriculum changes, that happens constantly here in the UK, whether these are always informed changes is questionable and whether they are for the better needs to be seen, but in my opinion, there are too many changes and nobody can keep up...


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:51
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Change has a purpose Nov 28, 2016

Gabriele Demuth wrote:
In terms of curriculum changes, that happens constantly here in the UK, whether these are always informed changes is questionable and whether they are for the better needs to be seen, but in my opinion, there are too many changes and nobody can keep up...

I'm sure that the constant change is necessary so that nobody can measure year-on-year progress, or even know whether progress is being made at all.

I think that grading young kids is a bad idea. They need to just learn, and enjoy learning as much as possible. While help needs to be provided to those who are struggling, I think all that the fast learners need is a constant supply of extra-challenging activities, not words on certificates. Grading is useful at high school and university though, to motivate students to do their best and to prepare them to win in the working world. No good telling them at that stage that adult life is anything other than a battle that needs to be won. "Tried hard" isn't going to get them a job; only "succeeded" will do that. And "honours", "distinction" etc are going to make life a little easier.


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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:51
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Doubting Nov 28, 2016

Amanda Canoska wrote:

Schools using this system swear that the students have never been better.
Because they learn not to for the sick of a good grade but for them self.
...


I seriously doubt all that.
On one hand, there is a huge illiteracy among the younger generations, awful grammatical mistakes, incapability to conceive a consistent phrase, et. That is, in general, taking apart a small group of really bright young people.
This qualty downward is reflected even in the main dailies (sic!).
The degradation of literacy has been discussed over and over, in various countries- I suppose, and hope so, not in all.

On the other hand, how can "passed" motivate to study?
I have two secondary school kids at home, their friends come in bunches for lunch, so the general atmosphere is like "ah, why to spend time for studying, we will pass anyway" or "why should I make an effort if I am one of the best".

A completely different level I observed when taeching at a tertiary university. For the grade or not, what people studied decades ago, the knowledge, the cultural education, the accuracy is still with them.

These are my personal observations in a limited number of countries, therefore, I wouldn't generalize.
I might perhaps only add that I see quite a difference in the correspondence coming from the UK and the USA.


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Kirsten Bodart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:51
Dutch to English
+ ...
My two cents Nov 28, 2016

Freelancers are lucky because they never get asked for grades when they offer their services. They are measured by the quality they deliver. Even if they haven't got any grades at all, because they didn't take any courses, they can still grab the opportunity to provide a product. None of that in the world of employment.

To me, life is full of grades and potential disappointment: you go for your driving test, you get graded. Either pass or fail. You go to a job interview, you get graded. They won't tell you what your grade is, but you'll still have a score somewhere. If you get hired, you'll get graded based on your performance, every year.

So kids can better learn as soon as possible what grades mean and that they are important. Parents shouldn't demand 'high grades' or 'nothing below 8/10', as some tend to do (that's cruel), but the concept of 'not good enough' is very important for everybody in this world. To learn to deal with that feeling and do something about that 'problem' is a major asset.

Naturally smaller children will have less of an issue with low grades (unless they aren't clever or have a learning difficulty like dyslexia, which doesn't necessarily need to ruin their life if properly tackled), but as they move through primary school, they'll encounter more and more 'problems' in this way. So it's important to introduce the concept of 'good grades' early on, so they have a sense of achievement and pride by the time they do become important in secondary school. After all, we need to know about a concept before we can do something with it.

Protecting children from competition and disappointment is ignoring human nature and hampers them later in life.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:51
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Competition Nov 28, 2016

Kirsten Bodart wrote:

.....
Protecting children from competition and disappointment is ignoring human nature and hampers them later in life.


Competition = disappointment. One person wins, everyone else loses and all of their effort was a complete waste of time. I don't think encouraging children to seek to dominate over others is any way to organise the world. It's OK in sport, but not anywhere else.

[Edited at 2016-11-28 13:07 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 07:51
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
My father gave me some very good advice Nov 28, 2016

When I started school more than sixty years ago, a lot of parents wanted their children to be top of the class. My father told us that good grades were fine, but as long as we did our best, they would be good enough. On the other hand, we could not control how bright the rest of the class was, so who came top depended on all the others. That kept us in our place when we did come top. In an English-speaking school in India, we were very conscious that we were privileged in many ways, when some children were not able to go to school at all. It also prepared us for later, when we had to compete on equal terms.

It was an enormous comfort to me when I limped in with mediocre grades for most subjects, came in last at sports and could not sing well enough to join the choir... It fired me to keep trying, and helped me find out what I actually was good at.

My father often did better than others himself, but he never lost his humility.

I think children need to learn at an early age that everyone is good at something, but that others will win and come top of the class too. Grades are part of that, and when they are introduced, they need to be handled properly, to show what is good and where there is room for improvement.

My school pointed out that exam grades were like photographs - frozen moments, not the whole story. We were trained to take a deep breath and do well, not just for exams, but for real life.
There are times when a PASS is fine - everyone is good enough, but at other times it is important to find the best person for the job, and conversely, the best job for the person.

It is important to show people their profiles in some way - what is fine and what to give up in a world where you can't win at everything. You can't escape competition in the world, when there is only one job, only one scholarship, only eleven players (and just one goalkeeper) in a team ...

Equally, we have to appreciate that others are different. Pretending we're all the same is not good for individuals or for society. Grades are a label, but they are not the contents of the bottle!


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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:51
Member (2014)
English to German
Black and white Nov 28, 2016

Its not all loosing and winning - children just as everyone else come in all sorts of shapes, colours, personalities, talents... everyone is good at something and that is or should be fostered, something they can feel good about, however, it is necessary to master the basics in many subjects in order to become a well rounded person and to become a valuable member of society.

[Edited at 2016-11-28 14:55 GMT]


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Amanda Canoska  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 07:51
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
https://www.thinkdif.co/cafe/live-updates/why-our-approach-to-education-isnt-working Nov 28, 2016

https://www.thinkdif.co/cafe/live-updates/why-our-approach-to-education-isnt-working

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:51
Member (2008)
Italian to English
LOSING Nov 28, 2016

Gabriele Demuth wrote:

Its not all loosing and winning - children just as everyone else come in all sorts of shapes, colours, personalities, talents... everyone is good at something and that is or should be fostered, something they can feel good about, however, it is necessary to master the basics in many subjects in order to become a well rounded person and to become a valuable member of society.

[Edited at 2016-11-28 14:55 GMT]


Sorry Gabriele but I cannot let that pass !


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