Transparency in Teaching (Stuff) Podcast

Mastery Learning: What are teachers Really Grading?

Transparency in Teaching (stuff)
Transparency in Teaching (stuff)
Mastery Learning: What are teachers Really Grading?
  • 00:03:34 Grading needs to change.
  • 00:05:27 Grading is complex and biased.
  • 00:10:31 Grading system needs reform.
  • 00:16:03 Grading needs to change.
  • 00:20:55 Mastery learning allows for application.
  • 00:26:01 Grading should reflect mastery.
  • 00:31:22 Mastery learning increases rigor.
  • 00:36:26 Measure product, process, progress.
  • 00:41:19 Mastery learning promotes accountability.
  • 00:46:18 Revamp education for better mastery.
  • 00:56:23 Revamp education for better results.
  • 00:57:39 Mastery learning should evolve.
  • 01:01:45 Slow change in education.

The current grading system used in education has been in place for over a century, but it is becoming increasingly clear that it needs reform. In this episode, Jen and I, Anne, discuss the current system’s flaws, such as grade inflation, subjectivity, and the lack of standardization. We talk about how students are rewarded for completing assignments or even just showing up rather than demonstrating mastery of the material. we highlight the difficulty of determining what exactly to grade and how to fairly assess student performance. Finally, we argue for adopting mastery learning grading methods to better support student learning.

Grade Inflation

One of the main issues with the ⁠current grading system⁠ is grade inflation. Students are often given high grades for simply completing assignments, regardless of the quality of their work. This leads to a false sense of achievement and can be detrimental to their learning in the long run. It’s a system that ⁠rewards “seat time” over the actual demonstration of knowledge. ⁠

Teacher bias

Another problem with the current grading system is subjectivity. Teachers can have different standards for what constitutes an A or a B grade. This can lead to unfairness and inconsistent grading, which can be especially problematic for students competing for college admissions or scholarships.

A better way

An evaluation system based on Mastery learning could be a better alternative to the current grading system. This system would focus on student mastery of the material rather than just completing assignments. Teachers would work with students to help them achieve true mastery of the material, and grades would be based on demonstrated proficiency rather than subjective factors.

It is obvious that the current grading system needs reform. Grade inflation, subjectivity, and lack of standardization are all issues that must be addressed. A mastery learning system could be a better alternative to the current grading system, as it would focus on student mastery of the material rather than just completing assignments. By rethinking grading, we can better support student learning and help students achieve their full potential.

Jay Walking at UCLA – Jay Leno stops students to ask basic questions any adult should know.

Resources used in this episode:

Time to Pull the Plug on Traditional Grading?

Transforming Learning Through Competency-Based Education

Why Mastery Learning

Literacy Statistics

Low Literacy Levels Among U.S. Adults Could Be Costing The Economy $2.2 Trillion A Year

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