Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Kohn, A. (1994). Grading: The issue is not how but why. Educational Leadership, 52 (2), 38-41.

The author presents a challenge to educators as they read this article. Why do teachers grade? He argues that grading to sort not only harms students but leads to non-productive outcomes and that grading to motivate is ineffective and usually decreases motivation. He states that the only legitimate reason for grading is to provide feedback to the student about his/her work. He also advocates that as the teacher uses grading for sorting and motivation, the teacher is able to place the blame for lack of achievement on the students, causing her/him to abdicate the responsibility for the learning that takes place in the classroom. He concludes this article by providing advice on the deeper implications of grading and techniques to reduce the negative aspects of grading.

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