Will publicly posting student’s grades motivate or humiliate them?

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The purpose of grades in school are to indicate how well a student did on an assignment, test/quiz and ultimately how they are doing in their classes.  There is a debate on if teachers posted the student’s grades on a bulletin board for the rest of the class to see, would it motivate the children to do better or would it humiliate them.  I believe that doing so would humiliate the students, stir up bullying and harassment and promote a wrong message.

Grades are ineffective communicators when it comes to indicating how well a child is learning and retaining material.  If a child is not retaining the information that is taught to them in class, the outcome will be misunderstandings and failing grades. Therefore, posting their grades in front of everyone else will evoke students to point the finger and make fun of that student for not having higher grades and not comprehending the material.

Posting grades has the ability to send a student into a funk or depression.  If a student thinks that they do not get the same grades as a higher graded student, they begin to think that they will never be tantamount to or surpass that person.  Comparing themselves to that person can cause them to become depressed about themselves and wonder why they do not receive the same level of success as one person.  Sometimes no matter how hard students work, there will always be somebody better than them.

Although this approach may be seen to help motivate the children, it motivates them to do the wrong thing.  Students will not be motivated to learn, per say, but will be aiming to get higher grades in the class.  They will not be focused on retaining knowledge, just how to memorize it for tests or just for completing assignments.  Furthermore, they will be satisfied that they got a good grade but will not retain much that they were supposed to learn in class.

These claims are also supported on http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117095&page=1 when the article discussed whether it was ethical for students to grade other student’s papers and say their grade out loud.  A new point is also brought out by saying the students who are perfectionists can drive themselves crazy if not given an A on an assignment.  This is true because I used to be the same way.  When I received my first B in 8th grade I sat at home and cried.  Getting used to getting good grades then ending up with less than what is expected drives people insane.

In the same sense, the article also discusses this method as being a “scapegoat” for kids to begin harassing and bullying other kids.  Once their grade is announced and the entire class knows, they can share that information with whomever they want.  By doing so, people could think that their reputation would be tarnished and can cause them to go into a state of anxiety and panic.  This is also prevalent with kids who believe they have certain expectations to meet regarding their family and friends.

Kids are prone to bullying and public embarrassment if they have bad grades and if they obtain good grades but then get a bad grade they might be prone to anxiety.  The method in which the teacher grades the papers then individually hands it back to the students should remain the same.  This will save students any public humiliation or bullying.

Aerial Robinson is a Freshman Broadcast/Mass Communications major from Atlanta, Georgia. She will be a contributor to The Campus Chronicle for the Spring 2017 semester.

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