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Grading; Mastery Philosophy and Abandoning the Modern System

 
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Grading; Mastery Philosophy and Abandoning the Modern System
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JPV



Joined: 02 Aug 2015
Posts: 1

Post Grading; Mastery Philosophy and Abandoning the Modern System Reply with quote
Hello. A blessed pre-Lenten season of preparation to you all.

This is our first year with Kolbe. Our oldest son is in the ninth grade. It was a struggle at first. He's taken on the Summa workload. But things have basically smoothed out.

The whole grading thing is new to us with homeschool. For his previous years, it was a mastery based curriculum: no moving on until mastery was demonstrated on the current lesson, via a test which demanded 100% accuracy. That system had been foreign to me, at first, due to my own schooling which used the modern letter system. But I grew to really appreciate it and ultimately preferred it. Our philosophy on education fit that system, which is a classical pedagogy seeking Wisdom and Virtue before SAT and college. Knowing (mastering) the material is more important to us than checkpoints.

I have studied a lot of the history of Jesuit education. The Ratio Studiorum of the 16th century -the document that laid out the Jesuit method- identifies a grading system similar to our modern Pass/Fail system, used in our non-academic courses, if I recall correctly. It demanded a mastery of the art.

We have graded through the first semester using the modern system. He didn't always score an A, and it often occurred to me: "What's the point?"

I read, and re-read, all the Welcome Packet material. I understand grading is generally subjective, and the authority lies with the parents. I'm just wondering if anyone else has adopted a "mastery philosophy" and if it has actually been implemented. If our son were to do poorly on an exam, I'd have no problem with him retaking it, after proper re-preparation. That isn't cheating, is it?

John
Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:55 pm View user's profile Send private message
sharonh



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 572

Post Reply with quote
I have graduated 2 kids from Kolbe high school program and have two kids in the high school program now. I still struggle with this. I don't panic until my kids score c+ or below (partially I feel I failed as a teacher).

I recently asked a friend who is a math teach at a college prep Catholic school how testing is handled at his school. He said any grade below 70% is an automatic do over. It is up to the individual teacher whether to have the student redo the entire test or just the answers that were wrong.

I hopes this helps a little.

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Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:32 am View user's profile Send private message
sharonh



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 572

Post Reply with quote
Something I painstakingly did in the summer was to look at the exams and then look at the study guides to see if any study guide question was nearly the same as the test question. Any similar questions I marked with a "T" in the answer key to study guides. Then after the student had answered the question as I was grading the lesson, I would put a "T" in the margin. The student would know to concentrate on those items. If the student answered incorrectly, he would he know he should go back and try to find the correct answer. Sometimes I would put "I want more detail for the test." I also would underline items in the "key points" sections in the course plans that show up on tests. Sometimes I am not able to find every item on the test.

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Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:14 pm View user's profile Send private message
JoeW



Joined: 30 Apr 2011
Posts: 45

Post Cheating Reply with quote
What does it meant to cheat in a class? It means you've broken the rules. But we set the rules, so, strictly speaking, nothing we allow can be cheating.

Why discourage cheating? For one, it prevents tests from working -- from being an accurate measure of a student's knowledge (insofar as they can be anyway). For another, cheating in class may prevent learning -- depending on the nature of the cheating, I suppose. Since we're observing and working with our children, we don't need a test to tell us, for certain, whether or not they know something. So we needn't be as worried about accurate assessment of knowledge but with *learning*.

Mastery learning can be done wrong, like anything. Its tempting to just give my son chance after chance on a test, but that just allows him to guess the right answer.
But, done well, I think it's an ideal way to learn material. It's how we learn much of the time in adult life -- trying again until we get it right, until we figure it out.
Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:07 pm View user's profile Send private message
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