Friday, November 17, 2006

Not the most sensitive...

So I spent an hour after school yesterday with a young girl who couldn't understand why she received a mark of 72% on a recent assignment.

This was a project that she chose to do as a group. When handing out the assignment I told them that if they chose to work in groups, the evaluation would be different than if someone chose to work alone - meaning that if 3 people are going to do the work of one, then it had better be well above and beyond what I was looking for. But, nobody actually had to work in groups - it was a choice.

Her group handed in a mediocre project that should've received a 72% if it was created by only one person. So, I was feeling pretty leninent in my marking as it was.

Anyway, she did not agree and wanted to argue her mark. I don't have a problem with this because I think that students should take responsibility for their education and they should ask questions about their assessment.

After an hour of going through the marking rubric with her, more explaining of the expectations and more tears, she still didn't get why her mark was "so low". (BTW I don't believe that 72 is a low mark) So, instead I tried a new tactic - I got pissy. I asked her where the other members of her group were if they felt that they put this tremendous amount of work in to this project. She replied that obviously they don't car as much about their marks as she does. I quipped, "Or, they understand that they did not put together a project that warrants a better mark." (in a very sarcastic tone) She left feeling no better than when she began, and I feel I could've done more to encourage her.

So much for marking / evaluating humanely and with sensitivity. I'll have to track her down on monday and hope she truly understands what I meant. It's amazing how much power a few little words can have and how much it can change a life just by being a little more sensitive to other people's feelings.


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