TED Conversations

Dorian Knus

This conversation is closed.

What if, to re-shape education, kids are graded daily in every subject?

Just an idea to build together.
The teacher teaches the day topic and at the end of the hour the kids will answer questions about it. Only orally and they are graded daily.

Of course there will be proper written tests, but the every day grade system will push them to pay attention and may be they will invest less time at home to do homework or, even better, they will have less homework.

May be not everyone will be questioned every day, but as there is a chance, they will pay more attention. They will learn.

At the end of term the every day grade will also be part of the final grade.

Of course some teachers will need to be trained and coached.

It won't be easy for maths and others, or may be impossible, but let's work together on this.

Share:
  • Mar 21 2013: What if we graded them even less? What if we taught them about their minds, instead of brain washing the mind with "facts"? "We are only a few generations separated from learning Latin and Greek [Philosophy] in high school to remedial English in college"-unknown. "Education is not the learning of the facts, but to train the mind to think"-Einstein. "Knowledge, itself, is Empowering. Wisdom, itself, is Powerful. Wisdom, within itself, is Power. The Wisdom of Wisdom is Power. The Philosophy of Philosophy is EVERYTHING"-Thomas C Morris. A Revolution to Evolution in Education is necessary, lest we lose our backsliding Empire. P.S. I have no High School Diploma (or GED). What do I know about education? What did Franklin, Paine, Edison, or Twain know about education for that matter?
  • Mar 10 2013: Hummmm! Seems like "homework" is the key here.
    Do you realize that even when you get out of school & join the work force, you just might have "homework"?
    As you stated: "Maybe not everyone will be questioned every day." There in lies a major problem to your idea.
    Some students will never pay attention, those that do may not retain the info. once away from class, and that is why homework is so important. You don't do it- you don't get a good grade.
    I don't think too many teachers would care for your idea especially if it means more training. They do enough already including offering a shoulder when you need it. Or step in front of a bullet for you!
  • thumb
    Mar 9 2013: Hi, Dorian. Why would such signs of learning need to be graded? It would likely add needless pressure and put over-emphasis on reaching understanding quickly.

    There are five easy and common strategies that come immediately to mind for a teacher to check on kids' understanding daily. We will take math as an example, as you seem to believe that is most challenging.

    One is to let students work in groups on the problems while the teacher moves around listening to the conversations.

    Another is full class discussion of a problem after giving students private think time and then maybe sharing with a partner before discussion begins. The teacher then asks people to share with "what are your first thoughts on this?"

    Another is what is often called an exit ticket. At the end of class everyone has a concepts to explain from the day or problem to solve, just to see where they are, and it is turned in on their way out.

    Another is daily homework, discussed in class the next day and collected. In this case, one doesn't know how much of it is their own work.

    Another useful if somewhat less reliable is for a teacher to use with students a system of signalling, such as "if you believe you understand this thoroughly, show me five fingers at table height (fewer to represent partial understanding)." This is less accurate a signal because some kids, or even adults, have an exaggerated sense of what they understand. But asking for this during class signals to a teacher instantly whether she needs to try to explain something differently because it has not struck enough chords.
    • thumb
      Mar 12 2013: Thanks Fritzie. Very interesting.
      I'd liked the Exit Ticket.
  • thumb
    Mar 20 2013: Michael
    I agree with you, we do not want the Korean way. Neither the Chinese, repeat, repeat, repeat, do not question, repeat.

    Agree too about we are innately curious, so, what you've said is key: Piquing Students Interest.

    Become more organic may work in some countries but I've seen so much apathy and disinterest on teen students that I've thought about the daily quiz. But not on paper, just orally.

    Ive seen very bad inter student dynamics ruling during class.
    I believe in the beginning the daily quiz will work out of fear but you will catch the attention of many and disrupt the bad dynamic between students. Beside this, the daily reward is a motivation itself.

    Or may be I'm just insane trying to find a new way for non developed countries.

    Thanks for your input Michael.
  • thumb
    Mar 18 2013: Dorian,
    I like your enthusiasm. In fact, this is the age-old question for educators: how do I get my students to learn?

    First, is your assumption: students do not want to learn, or fail to learn well, so they must be motivated by a daily quiz?

    Second assumption: is the quiz administered out of fear or out of enthusiasm?

    Rebuttal: As a teacher, I would not want to grade papers daily!

    Granted, the knowledge of a "pop-quiz", which has been employed for many years, does motivate some students to come to class prepared to either: have homework done; or, be actively engaged in class.

    How can we administer daily quizes and not burn-out teachers? Maybe we could employ self-administered quizes. The students, on an honesty basis, take the quiz and record their own scores and turn in their papers.

    Moreover, I would hope that most teachers would want to facilitate learning: by piquing students interest; and by sharing their subject course with knowledge and enthusiasm. Likewise, I would hope the students would want to monitor their own progress in order to master the skill at hand.

    I see your suggestion as a means to improve achievement scores .... and , perhaps to close the achievement gap with other countries ... so I give you props!

    I see a revolution broiling in Education. Those countries we compare achievement scores, e.g. Korea, have institutionalized fear into their curriculum. Teenage suicide rates are high due to the pressure. Students and parents learn early that if they want kids to go to university, they then must perform well from an early age and progress through all the right schools and learning clubs. I hesitate to think this is what we want of American Education. No.

    I suggest, like others (Salman Kahn, Sir Ken Robinson) that we revolutionize our system to become organic: students learn on their own (we are innately curious); master the skills at certain level (account for their own scores); move on to the next skill. Any thoughts?
  • thumb
    Mar 12 2013: Theodore, thanks for your imput.
    I'm talking about the basics. Teacher, students, no tablets, no cells, no internet.
    More than half of the students in the world actually.

    Leadbeater talk is very interesting but having a cellphone implies more money than I am talking.
  • thumb
    Mar 10 2013: Re: "The teacher teaches the day topic and at the end of the hour the kids will answer questions about it. "
    Why? Why have teachers function this way?
    Ken Robinson tells us in one of his TEDTalk that there are exciting times and we are asking children to sit in their seats and liten to a teacher talk. And when they can't we drug them with Ritalin.

    Flip the classroom!
    This is one of many talks on the subject by it provides a personal insight:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJD6GuTDpsg

    This concept has teachers video taping their lesson and kids are required to listen to the lesson before class. Classroom time is then spent "doing the homework," or working on the application of the lesson; in math you solve problem, in science you do experiments. This allows to peer to peer learning and individual attention from the teachers.

    Keep in mind, these are the tools that are becoming available.
    http://edudemic.com/2013/03/the-amplify-tablet-a-device-custom-made-for-teachers-and-students/
  • thumb
    Mar 9 2013: I would shoot my teacher .....or make their life a living hell, grades don't mean education ...and regurgitation is not an education