Exploring the Core Podcast

Gaming the System

Episode Summary

Welcome to the EXPLORING THE CORE PODCAST, where we delve into the elements that make up our education system and learn more about how that system can improve for the benefit of all students in schools today. I'm Greg Mullen. In this episode, I consider a recurring thought I’ve had about the "value" of a grade and its role as an academic currency in our education system. I'll also be speaking with Matt Townsley out of Cedar Falls, Iowa, a leader in Standards-Based Grading, about his thoughts on our education system and the challenges educators face as grading practices evolve. Thank you for listening, I hope you enjoy the show.

Episode Notes

Podcast and Episode Copyright 2019 Exploring the Core LLC

* www.ExploringTheCore.com * #ExploringTheCore *

Episode transcripts available at www.ExploringTheCore.com

Episode Release Date: January 6, 2020

"[Grades] They’ve become the bills and coins for buying passage to the next grade level, participation in sports, extracurricular activities, even college admission." - Greg Mullen

"The amount of work that a student must go through for such an explanation of an academic concept is like a three-dollar price tag for something that a student is likely used to getting for one-dollar down the street." - Greg Mullen

"The critical question here becomes: What must the student give their teacher in order to receive a grade that is valued equal to our expectations for that student moving forward?  This is where we get at the heart of redefining the value of what a grade is worth." - Greg Mullen

"What I am proposing is that we recognize the value of improving ourselves more than we value the rewards we receive for completing tasks intended for self-improvement. " - Greg Mullen

Interview: Matt Townsley, http://mctownsley.net/

"What happens over time is... as the [grading] system improves... [students] start to realize there once again is value in completing that [homework] practice." - Matt Townsley

"I really do believe that when schools implement standards-based grading, that there’s more of a co-ownership in the learning process." - Matt Townsley

"Sometimes I’ll ask teachers I work with, “hey, do you believe kids learn the same way on the same day?” and everyone says, “no way!” Well, that’s because anyone in the classroom knows that students do indeed learn differently. " - Matt Townsley

"I think one [benefit of standards-based learning] is clarity of understanding. " - Matt Townsley

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