Most students if asked of a perfect classroom scenario would have – among other things – exams, quizzes and obviously the grading that follows, removed. This will be a perfect classroom but consequently learning would not be effective. An even more interesting concept would be the reasons why a school would scrap off these fundamental aspects of academic learning. Of course, with an assumption that the school administration is learning oriented, what would be the consequences of such a decision? In respect to these questions, this essay will attempt to illuminate the reasons why a school would consider such a decision and what would be the long term and short terms consequences on the effectiveness of learning.
There are cases and situations where the school can have justified reasons for not examining students. From a psychology perspective, most schools view exams as the only measure of intelligence. In respect to that there few schools that hold on to a different dogma. The difference arises in the definition of intelligence, these schools eventually scrap off exams and quizzes in the believe that intelligence can only be measured by the ability of a student to examine and solve problems independently. The most important concept in this argument is the difference between what a student can do without instructions and that they can achieve without instructions. Thus, briefly stated schools can scrap off exams, quizzes and grading due to their belief that they do not measure true intelligence.
Another belief that can change a school’s perspective on examination is the stratification that grading causes. This stratification among people leads to attitudes formation and self-perceptions that are not necessarily true. For example, a student who fails an exam is not out rightly damn neither is the one passing one certainly intelligent. The primary issue arises when a student values their worth and self-perception from exam results as is likely to happen in most of the cases. A negative attitude development can flow into other areas and aspects of life and greatly affect self-esteem. To avoid such issues in students’ schools may end up discarding the examination and grading approach to measuring learning for some other option. Another reason is the notion that exams do not encourage the practical application of knowledge but rather a temporary possession for the sake of passing tests.
Nonetheless, it is important to consider the repercussions of such a decision in both short run and long run levels. On the short run the elimination of examinations and grading has positive and negative effects. As stated earlier lack of grading may result in the students being exposed to less pressure to prove their intelligence but it leaves the teacher in a predicament of how to recognize the effectiveness of his teaching in that he /she can not gauge the students performance. In addition, the students are likely to exhibit laxity in their studies with the absence of the motivation given by examinations. In fact, will studying for exams the students always increase their mastery of the subject as they read repeatedly to commit to memory.
In the end, students are likely to develop creativity since they are no longer confined to think in a certain examinable pattern. Form a psychology point of perspective, the spontaneity and imaginative thinking is more fulfilling to a person. The detriment that emerges is the issue of certification and accountability. This issue is better understood with the use of an example. If a doctor was not examined how would a patient know that he/she is qualified and hold him/her accountable to discharge his duties according to established medical canons? Of course, every thing will run better with a kind of universal structure in place, this includes learning in schools. Lack of examinations and grading will create an issue of standardization in academic gauging. Again, this will be illustrated better by an example; the accounting profession needs to be standardized in qualification levels where by an account student in Europe and another in Canada will need to know when they all attain a particular level of certification.