The Instigator
Mojique
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
imsmarterthanyou98
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Grades are detrimental to education

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
imsmarterthanyou98
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/5/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,212 times Debate No: 58605
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

Mojique

Pro

Explanation: As the Pro, My burden will be to show that it is more likely that grades are detrimental to a child's education in more cases than they help them either theoretically or in practice.
The con Burden is to show that grades are an integral part of education, and that they are helpful to more students than they detriment.
Style:
This is meant to be a mainly philosophical debate, and, though direct evidence is completely fine, it is not necessary.
Either side may use a philosopher, political thinker etc. as a source to back up part of a claim or contention, but not as the crux of an argument, or validation of a claim.
Structure:
Round 1: Acceptance (and if you feel it necessary other/counter definitions)
Round 2: Introduce All arguments (no con rebuttals)
Round 3: Rebuttals, Turns, extensions etc.
Round 4: Final Rebuttals and Closing arguments. (No new arguments)
Definitions:
For the purpose of this round, grades refer to Numerical or other scaled evaluation of a students performance. Grades do not include narratives, or other text based evaluations.
Side note: if My opponent wishes to argue that there are certain students to whom this benefit is more important, or that education is utilitarian (and therefore some students are more important than others) they may.
imsmarterthanyou98

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Mojique

Pro

Thank you I'msmarterthanyou98 for accepting my challenge, thank you all who are following this, I will now present my opening case.

Contention 1: Grades create stress.

The ides that grades engender create stress in two ways. Firstly, grades are effectively a way of linearly comparing a group of people, by comparing their work to a fixed external standard. In doing this, one creates a sense for students of having to measure up to those around them, creating stress.

This is a major impact because stress decreases from performance. Few students perform well under stress and most perform poorly. [1] One can see this from a purely psychological and reasonable standpoint in that it causes extraneous thought. When one is stressed, one worries about a failed outcome while preparing for or attempting to achieve a successful one, detracting from ones ability to solve the problem at hand. If one is not measured against an external standard, thought about the outcome goes away.

Not only can stress be shown to be detrimental from a psychological standpoint, it is also shown to be detrimental Neurologically. Conditions in which an individual is overstressed lead to activate the fight of flight response, pumping adrenaline into your system. Small amounts of adrenaline keep you focused but large quantities begin to shut down all but the parts of your brain necessary for survival. When constantly living under high stress, one sees everything as a threat, and has trouble focusing on things like schoolwork.

Contention 2: Grades discourage students from looking at meaningful feedback, and discourage teachers from giving it.

Even if a narrative (or some other form of meaningful feedback) is given, students don’t pay attention to it, and it is often written as a justification of a grade. It is essential in correcting ones mistakes to place a premium on feedback that tells a student what they can do better, and not feedback that tells them where they fit with respect to others. If this is so obvious, one might ask why students don’t just look past the grade? The answer is that grading becomes a lifestyle. Students are taught that they must work hard to get a good grade, and must get a good grade to get into the next level of education because educational specialists believe that all forms of motivation are the same. This overemphasis on and often threat on arbitrary placement and sorting, means that students are taught from a young age that grades are what they are and what they judge themselves by, making meaningful feedback seem irrelevant.

Contention 3: Grades harm interest and ambition. [2]

When a student receives a grade that does not live up to their standards, they are discouraged from pursuing work in that field. A student who gets a bad grade in math for example, may think, “I’m interested in math, but I’m not good at it, maybe I shouldn't take advanced math classes.” Students have two reasons to come to this conclusion due to grading. Firstly, they are dissuaded because of the possibility that further grades may be bad, lowering their GPA and making it harder to progress into a desired institution for the next stage of their education. Even if a students bad grade comes from external circumstances or if the student was merely behind because of a class that did not prepare them earlier in life, the result is the same. With the way that most grades are doled out; someone who made use of their skills from a disadvantaged position to attempt to solve a problem but failed, will receive the same mark as one who makes little use of the wealth skills they have; and fails anyway. Taking away grades forces teachers to give meaningful feedback about student work and effort. Secondly; grades emphasize 2 things: adeptness over interest and precision over creativity. A student with a controversial approach to a problem who gets some minor calculation or detail slightly wrong thinks that they had better not go into the field in which they failed, because grades teach that one must be adept.

Contention 4: Grades put emphasis on external, extrinsic motivation. Kids are learning not because they are interested, but because they want to be given a good ranking in comparison to others.

This type of motivation tends not to interest students in the subject but rather interest them in a grade. In fact, extrinsic motivation has been shown to directly impair intrinsic motivation, and “ A “grading orientation” and a “learning orientation” have been shown to be inversely related and, as far as I can tell, every study that has ever investigated the impact on intrinsic motivation of receiving grades (or instructions that emphasize the importance of getting good grades) has found a negative effect.” [3]

Contention 5: Grading fosters individuality and detracts from interaction, as well as promoting cheating.

Because of the intrinsic competition involved in grading (especially grading on a curve,) students are encouraged to compete rather than to work together. If you work with Johnny, and it turns out you understand the material better than him, then he will benefit from your knowledge, and drag your grade down. Collaboration has been shown to be an integral part of student learning, and has been shown to raise intrinsic motivation, cognitive functioning, and retention of information, as well as decreasing racism. [4] Conversely, the pressure often leads students to cheat, so as to do as well as (or better than their piers.) [5]

Contention 6: External standards do not allow for teaching to outliers.

With a grade based system it is difficult to teach to children that are either far above average or far below average. A student that is far above average is given an A, and rewarded for what is simple to them, where they should be being pushed and challenged. Every detail should be explained to them. Conversely, a student with a D or an F is discouraged and, instead of having the general picture explained to them comes away with a sense of disappointment and dislike.

Contention 7: Grades foster rote memorization over creativity, and put arbitrary standards on creative processes.

In any system grades will be somewhat arbitrary, especially in the humanities, but it is hard to grapple with that rationally as a young kid. A kid receiving a B from a class with a more difficult professor that a friend receives an A in with a different professor, assumes that they can not work at the same level as their pier. To account for this, schools tend towards rote memorization. It is easier to see if Student A is better than Student B, if both teachers give a grade on a vocabulary quiz, rather than a piece of creative writing and or an analytical essay. This has results in horrible curriculum standards, especially in STEM fields. To create a level playing field and make sure kids are learning the same things, they assign a curriculum that everyone can take standardized tests on. This allows for people's results to be quantized, even if the tests are arbitrary and meaningless. In the field of mathematics especially, most students must get to college or even grad school before they actually start doing proofs, research and creative work. This deters students from taking math, and gives the impression that math is a field only used as a tool. The same is done with many of the sciences.

Contention 8: Grades promote focus on easy problems, and detract from willingness to challenge oneself.

Lets say that a student were to have a homework assignment with 10 problems, and had only one hour to complete the assignment. Now assume that 5 of the problems take from 3-5 minutes, making them comparatively easy to get done, but 3 of the remaining problems take 5 to 10 minutes and the last two take 10-20. From an interest and educational standpoint, the last two and the three before that are the most important, and all five could probably be done within the hour the student has available. A student with internal motivation about the subject does those five problems, but a student motivated by the need to get a grade does the first 8, completing more problems in less time. By assigning a grade, the teacher detracts from the level of work students engage in. The same is true with the humanities; students are discouraged from writing about topics that are more complicated than necessary because there is a greater chance of failure. This is corroborated by educational psychologists mentioned in my 3rd and 6the sources.

Contention 9: Students who are graded tend to forget what they learned more quickly and think in a more superficial manner.

Students working for a grade view knowledge as something that must be internalized in order to achieve a high mark, instead of something that can be intriguing when discussed and grappled with. It follows that once their objective is completed, the knowledge becomes unnecessary, as it is no longer necessary to obtain a grade. It also follows that students are less likely to engage with material, thinking only about what they need to know for a test and not about what a particular passage means in the grand scheme of things, or how a text relates to the world. In a study “students told they’d be graded on how well they learned a social studies lesson had more trouble understanding the main point of the text than did students who were told that no grades would be involved. Even on a measure of rote recall, the graded group remembered fewer facts a week later.” (Grolnick and Ryan, 1987) [6]

Thank you, please vote Pro

[1] http://www.apa.org...

[2] http://www.bbc.com...

[3] http://www.alfiekohn.org...

[4] http://www.ccsstl.com...

[5] www.mendhamboro.org/cms/lib02/NJ01000391/Centricity/ModuleInstance/638/Anderman_et_al._1998_-_Motivation_and_cheating.pdf

[6]

http://www.alternet.org...

imsmarterthanyou98

Con

The case for measuring the quality of students performance. (a Grade)

What is a grade? According to the Cambridge dictionary

grade

noun [C] (MEASURE/MARK) /ɡre=8;d/

A measure of the quality of a student’s performance , usually represented by the letters A (the best ) through F (the worst )

So why are measurements of students performance on balance beneficial to and critical to the education of students? Which is the resolution we are presented with.

“Grades are detrimental to education”

I will outline below why grades are quite simply essential for education , but first take a moment and contemplate.

Dear voters what will you be doing once you finish reading both sides of this debate?

You will be measuring the quality of our performance relative to each other and in accordment with a grading rubric you will assign us a GRADE.

First notice that we are debating if ANY TYPE of grading system is or is not on the whole detrimental to education and

if education would be better WITHOUT grades. .

1.

Grades give immediate gratification for hard work & and something tangible to work towards.

As im sure everyone understands especially those who have kids , children often do not know what is best for them. Grades promote learning and critical thinking even if indirectly which after is the goal of education . As parents have done for ages and continue to do so , parents often set goals for there children for example if bobby gets a 90 on his next exam he will get a PS3 system for Christmas. This thus MOTIVATES bobby tremendously to learn the material and get a high quantifiable grade.

Thus qualitative assessments of students performance are absolutely necessary for students that do require something tangible to work towards. Even if this motivates students to learn indirectly they are learning.

Furthermore many students myself included have felt a great overwhelming sense of accomplishment when rewarded with a high letter grade on a exam. This further motivates students to keep learning and doing hard work because they see a real tangible pay back to learning.

So in conclusion it is clear that Letter grades make it easy and practical for a student to set and chase goals. By examining a teacher’s feedback, following directions and working hard, students are not only able to track their progress by identifying gained knowledge, but are able to see their grades getting higher. Therfore we can also conclude that grades are perhaps the ULTIMATE motivator in education.

Furthermore The formation of a goal and the desire to achieve it doesn’t only help students grow within their educational institution, but is a lesson that they can use long after graduation.

2.Efficiency

Not only are grades beneficial for students but also teachers greatly benefit from qualitatively quantifying the performance of students.
For example letter grading systems provides teachers with concrete and effeicent ways of evaluating mastery of course content by students.

Furthermore if a high school student applies to college, one major factor that the admissions office consider are grades.

When college students apply to graduate school, the admissions office again considers grades. When students apply for a job, the employer considers the students grades. Without grades, post-secondary schools and employers will have no way to know whether the student learned the material well or badly.

Employers would obviously prefer to hire computer programmers and lawyers who achieved top grades rather than those that received the worst grades because top grades are a proxy for learning. The students with the best grades learned the material better than the other students and are therefore likely to make better workers. UC Santa Cruz, for example, used to have a holistic rating system, where each student merely received an "essay" as feedback from each professor. The campus switched to grades so that graduate schools would have some legitimate way to measure students' performance (against each other and against other students from other schools).

3.Grades provide feedback to the student

Students might *feel* that they understand the material or that they are learning. However, that subjective feeling must be tested by some objective, external measurement. A student that *thinks* has learned the material may have a rude awakening when he takes a quiz and scores 20/100. Without this external feedback, the student would never know whether he truly understood. Psychological studies have found that all people have a natural bias to believe that they are above average. For students, this translates to most students believing that they have above average knowledge of the subject matter. Without external feedback to dissipate this bias, students that don't really understand the material would not realize that they need to study more or harder.

4. The educational system would crumble without grades.

My opponent would have to offer a rival educational system without grades.

It is incoherent to talk about whether a student has learned a certain subject matter, without somehow grading their knowledge. Without some tangible form of knowledge, any attempt of a student or teacher to figure out how much a student had learned would be nothing more than a subjective guess based on cognitive bias (such as a teacher saying that students who he or she liked "knew" the material better). Without grades, students that did not talk much during class would likely be marginalized because the teacher would assume they had not learned anything.

Thus, I negate the resolution and argue that grades are on the whole necessary and beneficial and the educational system is better with them.

Debate Round No. 2
Mojique

Pro


I thank my opponent for their case; I will now rebut their claims and propositions.


On the subject of grading this debate:


There is a difference between a competition and education, and between score and grade. A grade pertains to ones performance in an academic endeavor, but a score pertains to the rating of someone in a competition, like a debate. Saying that people voting on a debate is giving us a grade, is like saying that a soccer game is graded. One indication of this is that anyone who votes can give certain categories to one person and other categories in favor of another, and is not giving an objective rating to each person individually.



Rebuttal to point #1:


Instant gratification isn’t a good thing. People do better in life if they can work towards a more concrete, important goal further down the road [1.] This goal can be to learn enough to pursue a career they are interested in, or to learn something interesting about the world. Grades detract from ones ability to think this way because they force people to do less difficult activities. This whole argument plays right into a lot of the contentions that I brought up because all of your ideas focus on the idea that any motivation is as good as any other motivation and that as long as a student is motivated, you are doing something right. The whole point of my fourth contention is to show that extrinsic motivation is detrimental to important intrinsic motivation, as well as bringing a host of other problems with it. In the case you mention with the student Bobby, there are a few things that you don’t account for. Firstly it doesn’t account for the fact that Bobby, instead of being motivated to get the grade, is motivated to get the PS3. This makes things even worse, now getting the A doesn’t give Billy a sense of accomplishment, getting a PS3 does. So now the motivation to succeed in any intellectual way is completely gone. Secondly, this means that Bobby is more likely to forget what he learned, as my earlier study shows. And thirdly Bobby doesn’t do the more difficult problems and doesn’t take intellectual risks because he is only interested in getting the grade. This also means that Bobby doesn’t do more work than is necessary for things that he is interested in because it could harm his A. You state that “Even if this motivates students to learn indirectly they are learning.” But they aren’t retaining what they are learning, and aren’t learning in a meaningful way, aren’t striving to know more. Grades (along with rote memorization and standardized curriculums and testing) are what Carl Sagan meant when he said Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them.” Kids file knowledge away as ‘learned’ instead of ‘interesting and useful’ and ask questions like ‘will we need to know this for the test’ instead of, can we learn more about that.


­Rebuttal to point #2:


I see two problems in this contention. Firstly, this contention is irrelevant. This debate is about whether or not education is benefited, not whether educators are helped to make decisions. Even if you accept that as a valid argument, once again we as a society are putting ease and comfort above education. The other main problem I see with this argument is that the whole idea of needing an objective way of determining between students results in the detraction from the overall quality of the students. It is like a college cutting off a child’s hand and then using how well they can withstand pain. The students who are best at handling get to go to college, but all the students are worse for it because they don’t have a hand. If in setting up a standard on which to choose people, you make everybody worse, it isn’t a good standard. Colleges can look at narratives and work more on the basis of interviews.


As fare as your one campus switched argument, the fact that one campus switched doesn’t mean that they were right, or that all non-grading campuses should follow. Hampshire College does not employ grades, and MIT doesn’t grade for freshman year to reduce stress, and foster student’s interest in the subject matter.


Rebuttal to point #3:


Once again, grades reduce to the least common denominator. You may be able to show students that they aren’t learning well slightly more effectively, but it comes at the cost that on average, all your students will score worse on the quiz, and forget more of the material. Additionally students can tell from their professor’s comments whether or not they understand material, but in this case are motivated to fix what they did wrong because they are interested in the subject, and not merely trying to get a grade.


Rebuttal to point #4:


Firstly, I don’t see how grades remove a bias. Teachers that are more likely to say that a student they like is better than a student they dislike are also more likely to give a better grade on an essay to a student they like than to one they dislike. Additionally, students who are learning for a grade are less likely to talk because they feel they are constantly being matched up to their classmates and to some arbitrary objective standard, and are therefore more afraid of making mistakes. If class participation is being graded, then students worry about their comments level of complexity, when adding what they have to say to a conversation is the first step to getting their ideas tested and coming up with more complex ones. I personally talk with friends about things that I am not quite sure about, and may seem somewhat absurd, to use them as a sounding board. I have a more interesting, developed, objective standard because I have taken the time to voice my opinions in setting where I don’t feel threatened. As a result of this, I am more confident about stating my ideas in class; I am not worried about a grade, but about having an interesting conversation. In this way, taking away grades gives students spontaneity, creativity and collaboration, all of which are essential. Narratives are just as biased as grades, but they tell more.




In conclusion, I would like to state two things. Firstly my opponent’s second third and fourth arguments all rest on the idea that students, teachers colleges and/or parents need a way of discerning whether or not a student is learning, and that the only way to do this is to grade them. Not only have I already stated that there are other alternatives that allow for this, but I have also showed a myriad of ways in which the practice of grading is detriment to students. Unless my opponent can show that these other forms of judgment pose the same detriments to Education, he looses these three points. This follows from the fact that, when comparing my alternative, which doesn’t have any detriments to its name (and is in fact more indicative than just assigning a student a number or letter) and my opponent’s, which does; it is a fairly clear choice in favor of my alternative. Secondly, my opponents first argument is erroneous in that it rests on ideas that I have already disproven, namely that all motivation is equal, and that none is detrimental. If my opponent can not directly show that his form of motivation (grades) do not cause the harms that I have laid out he looses this contention as well. This covers all of my opponent’s contentions.



To ensure that students are, on average, more creative, intrigued and intrinsically motivated, and to increase their retention of knowledge, their ambition and their inquisitiveness, I urge a pro ballot, thank you.



[1] https://www.apa.org...




imsmarterthanyou98

Con

Rebuttals

1.Grades create stress

Great. Recent research that suggests stress has many benefits.

Moderate stress can lead to cell growth in the brain’s learning centers

In this 2013 study out of University of California, Berkeley, adult rats were immobilized in a small space for three hours or left unchanged. Two days and then two weeks later, the rats were given a fear-conditioning test, which evaluates the rats freezing or avoidance behavior when in a context that last lead to a negative consequence such as a shock. The measure is known as ‘fear extinction memory.’

The immobilized rats showed an increased level of the stress hormone corticosterone (the rat equivalent of cortisol in humans) as well as an increased growth of neural stem cells in their hippocampus, an important learning center of the brain. As compared to the control group, these rats had similar results on the fear extinction memory test given two days after the initial stressor, but showed significant improvement on the test after two weeks. The authors put fourth that these newly proliferated cells, after taking multiple days to integrate to fullest capacity, helped in learning at this improved level. Overall, it suggests that moderate levels of stress enhanced neural function and learning.

Source.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

2. Feed back.

As I stated in my opening case.

3.Grades provide feedback to the student

Students might *feel* that they understand the material or that they are learning. However, that subjective feeling must be tested by some objective, external measurement. A student that *thinks* has learned the material may have a rude awakening when he takes a quiz and scores 20/100. Without this external feedback, the student would never know whether he truly understood. Psychological studies have found that all people have a natural bias to believe that they are above average. For students, this translates to most students believing that they have above average knowledge of the subject matter. Without external feedback to dissipate this bias, students that don't really understand the material would not realize that they need to study more or harder.

7. This is irrelevant to the issue at hand. This is mainly a case against standardized tests however a creative piece of writing may also be graded according to a rubric which may make student work harder to accomplish everything in the rubric and get a high grade. Tests may foster rote memorization but not grades.

8.

Again grades provide the student something to work towards perhaps the student doesn’t want to learn but the fear of failing encourages him and makes him finish the 5

problems which in turn may make him interested in the subject.

9.

Students working for a grade view knowledge as something that must be internalized in order to achieve a high mark, instead of something that can be intriguing when discussed and grappled with.

Again this has to do with issues in TESTS and not grades. Tests perhaps should be given in different formats to encourage more critical thinking or have a class discussion which is also graded.

For example I have had class discussions that have been graded.

4.

However they are still learning and without grades they would not WANT to learn at all without that extrinsic motivator they may not do any work or learn anything at all but with grades they are still learning even if indirectly

Furthermore education is ultimately utilitarian.

1.Grades give immediate gratification for hard work & and something tangible to work towards…

Grades provide gratification for hard work.

As pro pointed out

People do better in life if they can work towards a more concrete, important goal further down the road”

For many people GRADES provide that goal to work towards.

2.2.Efficiency

Not only are grades beneficial for students but also teachers greatly benefit from qualitatively quantifying the performance of students.
For example letter grading systems provides teachers with concrete and effeicent ways of evaluating mastery of course content by students
.

Furthermore if a high school student applies to college, one major factor that the admissions office consider are grades.

When college students apply to graduate school, the admissions office again considers grades. When students apply for a job, the employer considers the students grades. Without grades, post-secondary schools and employers will have no way to know whether the student learned the material well or badly.

Employers would obviously prefer to hire computer programmers and lawyers who achieved top grades rather than those that received the worst grades because top grades are a proxy for learning. The students with the best grades learned the material better than the other students and are therefore likely to make better workers. UC Santa Cruz, for example, used to have a holistic rating system, where each student merely received an "essay" as feedback from each professor. The campus switched to grades so that graduate schools would have some legitimate way to measure students' performance (against each other and against other students from other schools).

As pro pointed out.

Grades allow educators to make clear and informed decisions. This benefits EDUCATION.

“educators are helped to make decisions

4. 4. The educational system would crumble without grades.

My opponent would have to offer a rival educational system without grades.

It is incoherent to talk about whether a student has learned a certain subject matter, without somehow grading their knowledge. Without some tangible form of knowledge, any attempt of a student or teacher to figure out how much a student had learned would be nothing more than a subjective guess based on cognitive bias (such as a teacher saying that students who he or she liked "knew" the material better). Without grades, students that did not talk much during class would likely be marginalized because the teacher would assume they had not learned anything.

Thus, I negate the resolution and argue that grades are on the whole necessary and beneficial and the educational system is better with them.

Since an essay will be graded according to a rubric if a student met those goals within the rubric the teacher has no choice but to assign the grade deserved.

Debate Round No. 3
Mojique

Pro


I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate; they are clearly a skilled debater. That being said, there are a few things that their rebuttals assume that are false, and a few things that their rebuttals fail to acknowledge about my contentions. To show this, lets go through his last speech


All additional evidence is for the purpose of extensions only.


My opponent’s response to my first contention would be valid, assuming that students were under only minor amounts of stress. It is completely true that small amounts of stress can be good for a person. While it doesn’t have the “many benefits” my opponent states, the one he brings up is valid. The problem is that the amount of stress that students are under due to grades is most certainly not minor. The APA study cited earlier also found that high school students reported more stress than adults; that 52% of teens felt that stress affected their mental health; that 83% of students say that school is a significant sign of stress; that 10% of students report their grades are lowered by stress; that teens believe their average stress level to be far above the healthy range; that many teens feel their stress is increasing and has been increasing (34% and 31% respectively;) that stress causes procrastination in almost 30% of teens, that 21% of teens neglect school work because of stress; that approximately 25% of students have felt sick; that many felt like they could cry because of stress; that around 30% experienced depression; that around the same amount skipped a meal; and finally that 35% couldn’t sleep because of it [1.] All of these impacts become even more significant if you take into account that the study also found that students don’t accurately understand just how much stress affects their health. A further study reports that 56% of students worry about grades, and only get 6.8 hours of sleep a night (teens need 9 to be healthy) [2.] Clearly stress has fare more disadvantages for students (given their levels of stress,) than it has advantages. The numbers on missed sleep, massive amounts of stress and the affect on their mental health (including depression) are incredibly worrying, as all of these affect cognitive ability and in turn their ability to take in knowledge. I myself go to an extremely selective school, and the effects are even worse there, as most students get on average 5.5 hours of sleep. Not only does stress affect students, it affects better students more. Clearly stress is a significant detriment, and my first point stands. I also think that it should be clear that, should there be no adequate response with an extension on benefits, the argument about is a significant voting point.



My opponent doesn’t even significantly respond to my second contention, saying that his case talks about it. Sure his case talks about it, but this is a case in which he doesn’t understand the nuances of the argument. The argument first states that grades are not meaningful feedback, because they don’t tell you what you did wrong. To be fair, my opponent does state that students can strive to do better by looking at feedback, which I assume means comments as well as grades, but this still ignores a fundamental tenet of the argument: students are less likely to look at other types of feedback if they get a grade. This should be clear from many of the arguments that I have already made, but it is also directly evidenced by the source connected to contention 2. The fact that students aren’t interested in furthering their understanding passed the necessary point for a grade by looking over their mistakes in detail and correcting them is extremely detrimental and completely destroys my opponents claim about improvement, meaning that this point stands as well. Additionally, he completely drops the argument that teachers often don’t give feedback if they don’t have to (and standardized tests almost never do this,) in favor of a grade.



As an extension of this point, one of the main psychological states that leads to standardized testing is the idea that all you need is a number to help a student. With out that fundamental idea, you can’t have a standardized test. Standardized tests have been shown to be harmful multiple times.



My opponent’s response to my third contention is just a restatement of part of his opening case, and a completely irrelevant part at that. My third point still stands.



My opponent’s response to my 4th contention is that students wouldn’t want to learn. My opponent provides no evidence of this, and my Hampshire and MIT examples rebut this perfectly. These are two of the best schools in the nation and they don’t grade universally. In the case of Hampshire, there are no grades.



My opponent doesn’t even respond to contentions 5 and 6 and skips to 7. He states that 7 is irrelevant because it is an argument based on tests, but doesn’t actually state why it doesn’t apply to grades as well. I provide a direct link, and my earlier psychology point also serves as a link so contentions 5 6 and 7 stand as well.



My opponent responds to 8 by saying that fear of failing makes the student do the last five. This response completely ignores the time constraint point. Either the student looses sleep and does worse, or doesn’t do the hard points and does worse, so this stands as well.



Once again, my opponent doesn’t attack the connection which is documented by science so contention 9 stands.



My opponent’s argument that grades are utilitarian is irrelevant, as he never shows that utilitarianism is good.



My opponents response to my rebuttal about working towards a strong goal in the future completely misunderstands the argument, because it ignores the basis of it: that people who can do work for goals that are important in the long run, like acquiring knowledge, or being able to pursue a field they are interested in, do better. My opponent says that these long-term goals are Grades. That response completely ignores the argument, which directly states that having grades as your ultimate goal is detrimental. My rebuttal stands and my opponent’s first contention is debunked.



The efficiency point is just quoted from the first speech, and I’m not even sure why it is there. Additionally Con’s taking my words out of context in such a gross way immediately forfeits him conduct. The full sentence is here “This debate is about whether or not education is benefited, not whether educators are helped to make decisions.” I did not point out what my opponent says I did in any way.



His last point is once again quoted from the first speech and ignores the response that cognitive bias is inherent in grades, whereas complicated, meaningful feedback allows for a student to see a response, even if it does have cognitive bias. Grades are inherently more prone to cognitive bias and are the guesses my opponent talks about.



In conclusion I would like to state that all of my contentions have been inadequately attacked, and all are significant detriments to education, especially 1 2 4 5 8 and 9. Therefore I have 9 important, unrefuted claims, while my opponent only attacks two of my rebuttals, both by restating his original case. The outcome of this debate should be clear. To help students learn, to stop group work from being crushed, to reduce detrimental levels of stress, to increase knowledge retention, teach kids to look at meaningful feedback, to increase reliance on intrinsic motivation, and to spread the word on the effects of grades, I urge a pro ballot.



imsmarterthanyou98

Con

My opponent appears to concede.

It is completely true that small amounts of stress can be good for a person. While it doesn’t have the “many benefits” my opponent states, the one he brings up is valid.

My first point stands that grades create a small amount of necessary stress. Which is actually beneficial and provides motivation thus furthering education.

Furthermore my opponent is never able to fully rebut the following contentions.

2.Efficiency

Not only are grades beneficial for students but also teachers greatly benefit from qualitatively quantifying the performance of students.
For example letter grading systems provides teachers with concrete and effeicent ways of evaluating mastery of course content by students.

Furthermore if a high school student applies to college, one major factor that the admissions office consider are grades.

When college students apply to graduate school, the admissions office again considers grades. When students apply for a job, the employer considers the students grades. Without grades, post-secondary schools and employers will have no way to know whether the student learned the material well or badly.

Employers would obviously prefer to hire computer programmers and lawyers who achieved top grades rather than those that received the worst grades because top grades are a proxy for learning. The students with the best grades learned the material better than the other students and are therefore likely to make better workers. UC Santa Cruz, for example, used to have a holistic rating system, where each student merely received an "essay" as feedback from each professor. The campus switched to grades so that graduate schools would have some legitimate way to measure students' performance (against each other and against other students from other schools).

3.Grades provide feedback to the student

Students might *feel* that they understand the material or that they are learning. However, that subjective feeling must be tested by some objective, external measurement. A student that *thinks* has learned the material may have a rude awakening when he takes a quiz and scores 20/100. Without this external feedback, the student would never know whether he truly understood. Psychological studies have found that all people have a natural bias to believe that they are above average. For students, this translates to most students believing that they have above average knowledge of the subject matter. Without external feedback to dissipate this bias, students that don't really understand the material would not realize that they need to study more or harder.

4. The educational system would crumble without grades.

My opponent would have to offer a rival educational system without grades.

It is incoherent to talk about whether a student has learned a certain subject matter, without somehow grading their knowledge. Without some tangible form of knowledge, any attempt of a student or teacher to figure out how much a student had learned would be nothing more than a subjective guess based on cognitive bias (such as a teacher saying that students who he or she liked "knew" the material better). Without grades, students that did not talk much during class would likely be marginalized because the teacher would assume they had not learned anything.

Thus, I negate the resolution and argue that grades are on the whole necessary and beneficial and the educational system is better with them.

The outcome of this debate should be clear. To help students learn, to stop motivation from being crushed, to increase beneficial levels of stress, to increase knowledge retention,

to teach kids to accept important feedback, to increase motivation, andhave a coherent educational system , I urge a con ballot.

Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by rings48 3 years ago
rings48
*Otherwise mistakes were made by both but theirs were that bad.

Otherwise both made small mistakes but they were not that bad.
Posted by rings48 3 years ago
rings48
RFD in comment is so much better. Can actually format my response.

Conduct: =

Spelling and Grammar: Gave it to Con because of formatting their arguments. R2 format of Pro was better, Con was still readable though. R3 and R4, Con starts using a much better format and Pro starts doing this horrible big letters the middle of a paragraph. Otherwise mistakes were made by both but theirs were that bad.

Sources: Pro has much better sources, and I wish Con had some. The sources largely benefit Con. A few of Pros sources hurt him, especially MIT. They grade the last three years, which means that they still see a need/benefit to grade students.

Argument: So most of Pros contentions are not fully rebuttaled and stand. The reason I gave Con the points is because Pro had BoP and failed to show how grades are detrimental to education. Yes grades cause stress, yes kids work less as a team (group projects?), yes kids promote memorization. Most of Pros points though are that grades are detrimental to students. As Con points out: colleges, schools and employers need grades to gauge a students abilities. Without some type of scoring system in education, education would become pointless because you could not gauge the performance of students.

So grades are detrimental to students but education needs them because their is no other way to know if students are actually learning anything.

The benefit/need of grades ends up outweighing the harm it does to students.

Personal Note: I feel like Pros arguments were detrimental to students yes, but they are beneficial in the long run because in the workplace there are performance measurements. You may not get an A or B but their will be a scoring mechanism or ranking system.
Posted by Mojique 3 years ago
Mojique
I was rushing and didn't remember to give sources for the last speech

Source 1 was http://www.apa.org...
Source 2 was http://www.challengesuccess.org...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by rings48 3 years ago
rings48
Mojiqueimsmarterthanyou98Tied
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Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comment