As a student, the biggest part of my life has got to be education, and as I see it, the current education system has some problems, the most pressing among which would be the obsession with grades. With the way people prioritize grades right now, over everything else, even learning, we promote a culture of cheating where school is simply perceived as the accumulation of grades.
Rote memorization becomes the norm while critical thinking is neglected. Because students are just taught how to pass a test, teachers are forced to teach superficial knowledge rather than deep thinking skills. Hence, when students get bad grades, they tend to blame themselves or the teacher when what’s really wrong is the system. This one-size-fits-all curriculum must be replaced because a particular teaching style can never work for every student.
The constant pressure to do well in a test causes anxiety which eventually kills students’ natural curiosity. It stifles their creativity and imagination such that students come out of the system as good test-takers, but they can’t think critically, communicate, or be creative because no emphasis was placed on cultivating a love of learning.
The good news is, this traditional method is not the only way to measure learning. Certain schools, particularly those in the West, now employ qualitative evaluation over quantitative. Two methods are most popular: standards-based learning and project-based learning. With standards-based learning, students get a list of skills they need to master by the end of each grade level. There are no rankings, no comparisons or competition between students (Hancock, 2011). All learners would have to focus on is self-improvement. With project-based learning, on the other hand, teachers simulate real world problems. For example, a technical skills teacher may ask students to design and then construct working tool, and authentic outputs demonstrate proficiency.