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Many philosophers have agued strongly on the relevance of grading students at school and the importance of compulsory schooling. This men and women have come out clearly and defended themselves over these issues and they have even provided the way forward in order to have learning institutions which do not practice grading of students. One such people are Alfie Kohn and Gatto. Kohn strongly opposes the practice of grading students while while Gatto strongly opposes schooling. The two provide us with their facts which are a subject for the wise to decide on the right way forward i.e. do away with grading of students or keep away our children from schooling.
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Kohn is a person who has come out clearly in opposing grading in our school systems. After carrying out several researches regarding the negative effects of grading students, Kohn points out first that it has been observed that grading of students has a negative effect of reducing student's interest in learning. Here, he agues it out that the more a student is rewarded for his job well done the more that student looses interest in whatever he was rewarded for (Kohn, 1993). This observation have also been by many other researchers adding that the more the students move from elementary schools to graduate schools the more they loose interest in learning due to grading .
The other effect of grading that has been observed is that grading tends to reduce students' preference for challenging tasks. Here the researchers propose that students who have been exposed to grading may choose to part with the easiest assignments. With regard to this, the researchers lament that in a situation where grades are the order of the day, students choose to go with easier tasks at the expense of intellectual exploration.
The effect of grading is more than it can be thought according to some researchers. They point out that, by grading students, their thinking capacity is in a way reduced arguing that due to the fact that students are searching for grades, they will fail to think deeply. This failure in thinking deeply as a result of grading has been shown through re search to kill creativity in students who are put into a grading practice. Grades have also been challenged for their validity, reliability or objective. Kohn points out that, a grade such as "A" carry's no information regarding what a student can do, what he understands or even where he needs more assistance. I n short, a grade conveys no relevant information regarding the students' abilities. The fact that two different grades can be awarded to the same assignment by two different teachers or even the same teachers leaves more questions than answers on the criteria that is applied when deciding on grading.
Time as a resource which is very important has been found out to be one thing that grading really consumes in a manner that is not time economical at all. Kohn says' that a lot of time is spent in compiling the grades and when teachers are discussing with their students and parents about the grades. The most shocking of all is the idea that grading promote cheating in exams. Researchers have found that the more students are aiming at high grades the more they are tempted to cheat during exams. On matters related on how teachers and students get along with each other, grading has been pointed out as one major issue that spoil the relationship between a teacher and a student. Moreover, it has been extended to the poor relationship among competing students. The most suicidal form of grading is the use of a normal distribution curve which has been described as a grading system which teaches students that others are obstacles in their own success.
John Taylor Gotto has been very vocal in the fight against schooling for children. Despite the many benefits that have been attributed to schooling, to him, he finds it as something that kills the originality in human being. Gatto comes out clear that, some of the greatest men the United States history never went to school but they managed to leave some remarkable marks behind to be remembered. Just like Kohn who was for the opinion that grading discourages thinking, Gotta also says that schooling also contributes a lot in discouraging the students to think. Gatto agues that schools have made our children addicts at the same time turning the children into children. A school is described as place where children are trained to become persons of great minds in the future a fact which Gatto says that even parents at home can play that part of training their children to become what they want.
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He advices parents to provide their children with the relevant materials of which most of the school teachers avoid when they are teaching. Gatto is the for the opinion that people who have undergone a serious schooling system tend to be extroverts and opt to seek company from watching TV, personal computers and parents should protect their children from this kind of lifestyle by taking the responsibility of instructing them. Schools are described as a place where children are made to become servants. Gatto believes that the number of geniuses in the world is countless but the persisting problem is on how to manage the high number of these intellectuals. To him the best is to let every man and woman for him/herself!
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