Event

Focus On Learning

A path that parents entrust the education system with the hopes of a promising future for their children. Based on my personal experience, the 4 years in highschool is a crucial period for students to determine their career path. It is a period fundamental to recognizing key strengths and weaknesses during their entire learning process. The grading system is flawed as it does not account strengths or weaknesses. Furthermore, it does not provide an accurate or consistent valuation of a student’s performance.

A Constructive Approach

Mayfield Secondary School located in Caledon is leading with the constructive approach where the student would provide feedback throughout the semester and evaluate their course work with their teacher before reaching an agreement on a appropriate final grade.

“It’ll be a negotiation process where they have a conversation about the learning, and the student can articulate exactly what they’ve learned and how they’ve grown as a learner,” said school principal James Kardash. “And when we can get to that, we’re starting to make inroads on what education should really be about.”

Being able to approach your teacher for constructive feedback goes further than recognizing potential areas of improvement academically but allows the student to practice their communication skills and professionalism. The ability to negotiate is a valuable skill transferable into any industry and can be applied universally.

Critical Analysis

“That dialogue then, is another chance for them to engage in the learning process itself, because they’re learning to advocate for themselves, they’re learning to articulate the learning that has taken place within themselves.”

Although the pilot program can revolutionize the way students learn holistically it does not go unquestioned. The ability to negotiate poses many issues when reaching terms of agreement between the student and the instructor when providing an overall valuation on the student’s performance. There must be an outline of the criteria that is to be discussed during the negotiation not to appease either party but to reach a calculated and rational conclusion.

Bottom Line

This pilot program if implemented throughout the high schools across Ontario can improve the overall education experience for students. However, it will be a different story when students begin their transition into post-secondary education.

 

Original Source: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/09/05/this-caledon-high-school-is-letting-some-students-negotiate-their-final-grades.html By Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press (Tues, Sep 5, 2017)