Grades vs knowledge.

A student, a teacher, a friend, my class, some books, homework, grades or parent-teacher meeting … these are the most common school associations mentioned by children. Let’s focus on the last two. Grades as well as parent-teacher meeting evoke anxiety or even fear, not only among children but parents too. Children usually dread to think what may happen when a parent-teacher meeting is going to take place, and then, they want to improve their grades as soon as possible in order to avoid being punished. Parents, as a general rule, do not analyse child’s progres in studies as long as they see all his grades at the meeting. I know what you are thinking about… Nowadays, parents have an access to the electronic grade book and they may keep their children under control. I totally agree, but, how many of them do it?

According to students, a grade is only a „figure” written by a teacher. A student in the beginning of his educational phase does not alalyse „the fact” that the grade is a reflection of his knowledge. A child comprehends grades in a different way. For a young student a „magic figure” is only a factor that brings joy or sadness. Parents, on the other hand, strongly believe that a grade is a reflection of how smart and gifted his child is. It seems to be clear  for them that a bad grade indicates that his child was not prepared for a test. In a case when parents see the highest grade it is a reason to be prooud and consciousness that his child is really smart. OK. But, what happens when we are aware of the fact that our child is preapred for a test but he gets a bad grade? How do we react? Parents, generally, react impulsively, they shout and they vent their anger and frustration on a child. A calm and logic conversation with a child hardly ever takes place. Parents are to ‘excited’, full of negative energy and they simply forget to ask about the reasons of such results.

Firstly, a weak result can be an effect of stress. Our child cannot tolerate writing the tests under time pressure. In such situations he cannot think in a logical way as well as answer the questions breifly. But, it does not mean, that he does not know the correct answer. Secondly, let’s call it ‘unnerving factor. It happens when our child tries to anwer the question but at the same time he sees that his classmate answers the same questions in a quicker way, and what’s more he says that it is ,a piece of cake’. Then, in our child’s brain a huge blockage appears. He cannot concentrate on writing because he has already thought that for him ‘it is not so easy’. Thirdly, health factor, our child can be sick, he may have cold, or he just might be faint. Then, he or she does not have abilities to process information so fast. In this case, his grade will not be adequate to his knowledge. The fourth reason is quite simple, not everybody is a fan of answering the questions in a written way; some children prefer speaking to writing, and converesly. The fifth reason, the capacity for reading instructions. Many children do not read the instructions at all, what leads repeatedly to the weak results on the tests.

Why do we publish this text? We are in the middle of the year, the final grades after the first term are noted but parents are surprised. Recently, it might be observed that many double-barreled talks among parents take place. Many of them analyse the grades but instead of looking for causes they complain about the results using words such as „he gets G one more time, what’s a slacker’, ‘I’ve told many times that he must study’, ‘no comment’. Generally, one might have the impression that a small bidding takes place, the worse child is, the more parents want to say. Dear parents, instead of assessing ‘magic grades’, it’s worth to chew things over and find the causes in such situations. The impulsive reaction it’s a factor that does not motivate, definitely. Children results should be analysed calmly and a logic explanation ought to be found. Let’s try to explain that the grade it is only a partial dimension concerning the aqucired knowledge because the most significant issue is studying for ourselves.

Think about it…

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