Posted October 13, 2018 08:16:40The grading system used in schools across the UK has been criticised for leaving some students with a grade of D or F for every A they perform in a particular subject.
But there is hope for improvement, as a new report from the University of Queensland says that there are ways to improve this grade-based system.
In its report, the University’s School of Educational Leadership and Administration said that there is an existing grading system that was used in the UK, but it has been too rigid and often fails to recognise student strengths and weaknesses.
This grading system, the report says, fails to recognize students’ strengths and weakens their ability to learn, with students often failing to perform well in their subjects due to insufficient time, concentration and preparation.
In an attempt to address this, the university set up a team to analyse the UK’s grade-related grading system.
“We found that this grading system does not work well in most schools and it is a clear indicator of systemic racism in the system,” Associate Professor of Education Andrew Bader said.
“This is because this system tends to reward students for being white, middle-class and male, as opposed to pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
For example, students who have failed in maths are often assigned lower grades in English and Science and more often in maths than those who have excelled in other subjects.
“The report says that the current system, which was established in 2002, is not good enough, and there are many ways to tackle the problem.”
There are many different ways to increase student learning and develop students’ self-esteem and confidence,” Associate Prof Bader says.”
One example is through increased focus on students’ academic strengths, which can help them to be more self-confident and more confident in their work and in the classroom.
“Another is to develop an educational curriculum that focuses on learning through the skills, not just the material.”
Finally, there are other ways to enhance student learning through a more flexible curriculum and the use of technology to assist teachers with their work.
“The researchers also found that the system in place is not working well, and it should be improved to encourage greater student self-confidence and focus.”
While the current grading system works in most areas, it is not particularly good at predicting student learning in the most disadvantaged areas,” Associate professor Bader explained.”
And in many cases, the current scoring system is not reflecting the teaching and learning skills of students who are in the poorest socioeconomic groups, or those who are not yet fluent in English or other foreign languages.
“It is important to ensure that the grading system is a good reflection of the skills of the students and the curriculum is a learning resource.”
The study also identified other areas where students could be given an A, which could lead to improved achievement.
For example:The report also highlighted how the system does make allowances for students’ needs.
“In the UK there are a number of schools that do not recognise students’ learning needs and they are therefore given a grade that reflects their ability, rather than the learning needs of the student,” Associate faculty Bader explains.
“Similarly, schools in the US, where there is a much higher need for students to be learning English, have different systems in place that are based on the number of English Language Learners they have, and they also award a higher grade.”