This Is Unfair or Why Students Are Being Downgraded?
Many students’ fears are connected with grading. “If I get a poor mark, my parents will kill me,” “I need 2 scores to pass the test, or else consider it gone.” Their hearts skip a beat when a teacher distribute checked tests, where there is a “verdict” written atop in red.
Indeed, grading is a burning issue both for students and teachers. The first wish there were not marks and test would be evaluated with cloudlet for well done job and sun for excellent performance. The second wish there were computers that would do an assessment, thus waiving responsibility for a disputable mark. Much as we would like grading is inevitable.
Why give grades?
Grade is not just a letter that defines whether student failed or did well in a particular subject. This is an indicator of his/her academic progress, which when being objective, provides:
- Teacher’s feedback. Giving a certain mark, teacher shows to what extent a student has managed to stick to the assigned standards. That is why, for the assessment to be fair, a teacher should give students a thorough explanation of the standards they are to meet.
- Motivation. Serving as a motivation tool, marks are really effective though only when they are objective. In other cases, unfair marks may be a huge discouraging factor that is difficult to overcome.
Unfortunately, when grading students, teachers sometimes are ruled by anything at all but for these main criteria.
Why do teachers give unfair grades?
Each case of unfair grading is unique and can be based on a variety of reasons starting from teacher being in a bad mood to pure accident. Still, there are cases which cry out for obvious piece of injustice:
- “Favoritism.” In any class, there is a student who is considered to be teacher’s pet. He or she is sure to get a high mark and be praised on any occasion, whereas a students from the “black list” suffers from unfair grading and is the first to get the works when teacher is ill-humored.
- Discrimination. People don’t like those who differ in some way from the herd. Unfortunately, this rule is transferred to education as well. It is not frequent that a teacher evaluates student’s academic achievements on the basis of their skin color or gender. Sounds odd? So goes the world.
- Attendance and bad behavior. Said enough that the best thing teachers have invented to punish students for bad behavior or truancy is to give them bad marks. What are you talking about? These are nonacademic factors that need psychological impact!
- Social status. Yes, it reminds of Middle Ages where the poor were not allowed to show themselves in a swell society and whose rights were frequently infringed. At school, it goes something like this, though teachers demonstrate their dislike to the students from poor families by downgrading them. The rich, by the way, catch it as well. “Life is a picnic, when a rich daddy is by your side? Then I will spoil it with a poor grade! ”
- Appearance and self-expression. The height of teacher’s unprofessionalism is to underscore a student because of his/her appearance or mode of dressing. Nevertheless, teachers may forget about it and give marks not for knowledge but for a cutty skirt or uncommon hairdo.
What to do in case of unfair grading?
Apart from multiple responsibilities students have at school or college, they also have the right to get fair grades and objective treatment. If you are sure that this right is violated and can prove that, do it.
For this, approach your tutor with an augmented request to reconsider the given grade. Gain support from your classmates, parents or even other teachers. Ask the tutor to give sound reasons for such a grade.
Finally, don’t keep silent since a single unfair grade may easily evolve into ill tendency that can influence on your overall academic progress.