Grading, Assessment and Learning - The Tenuous Link

There is an active ongoing debate among the different stakeholders of the Indian Education System regarding the efficacy of the present grinding and assessment systems prevalent in the country. As a step towards giving all a voice and to instigate change of mindsets, Samam Vidya, in association with Heugah and Leadership Initiative for Educators (L.I.F.E.) have started an initiative called ‘Grading, Assessment and Learning – The Tenuous Link’. The initiative will be divided into multiple phases starting with round table discussions, surveys and publishing a white paper.

The project will be kicked off with a virtual round table of stakeholders of the Indian education system. This round table panel consists of school and university leaders, teachers, special educators, employers, parents and students.

The goal of this panel discussion is to ponder and analyze various burning questions in the area of grading and assessment. Grades are the holy grail of education, and the weight it carries in the psyche of students, parents, society and employers is enormous. It is the ultimate judgment of a student’s capabilities. Or is it?

Are grades an accurate judgment of a student’s learning and/or abilities? What information can we actually deduce from a student’s grades? Does a student’s report card give different information to different stakeholders-does an employer judge a report card differently from a university admission panel? Do tests truly measure what they intend to measure? These and other questions will be probed during the discussion in order to discern what, if any, changes will benefit all stakeholders in the area of grading.

We would be holding such round tables with other panelists as well in order to get a good pulse of the topic. Break-out focus group sessions between school and university leaders, teachers and employers will be scheduled as a next step. This is to understand how grading data and policies are viewed and understood at each level.

The initial discussions will focus upon forming a complete schema, the foundational basis, of the assessment and grading philosophy. Once that is sufficiently firmed up, discussions will focus on identifying where in the system changes are required. We would then progress to identifying what specific changes would be most useful to all stakeholders. Lastly, panel discussions would concentrate how best to affect change and see these changes reflected in the classroom.

We aim to publish a white paper featuring an analysis of all the outcomes of our interactions. A self-reflective study of grading practices is overdue, and necessary in the changing world of education in India. We would hope that such a white paper will influence grading policy at systemic levels, and be adopted as governmental policy.

Round table is scheduled for Tuesday, 28th April, 6pm.

Panelists:

  1. Dr. M.K. Sridhar, NEP drafting committee member
  2. Shanti Menon, Principal of Deens Academy
  3. Savitha Ravi, Founder Director of Pramiti
  4. Louis Dias, Principal of Greenwood High
  5. Ishwarya Ahmed, Founder of Upturn learning
  6. Sheetal Jethy, Founder of Chalk (Teacher Training Institutes)
  7. Dr. Hema Ramanathan, Author and teacher Educator Fulbright-Nehru Scholar University of West Georgia, now based in India
  8. Geeta Sundar, Ashok Leyland School Hosur Middle and High School Teacher Purva Watwe Achieve School Special Educator, Remedial Education and Reading Facilitator. Life Skills Teacher
  9. Purva Watwe, Achieve School special Educator, Remedial Education and Reading Facilitator, Life skills teacher.
  10. Preethi Padi, Kumarans School Preschool Teacher
  11. Prajwal Pravinjith, Engineering Student
  12. Anish Shinde, 10th grade Student

Moderators:

  1. Ms. Padma Shastry, Founder of Samam Vidya
  2. Supriya Hoskeri, Associate at Samam Vidya
  3. Preethi Vickram, Founder Director of L.I.F.E., Master Franchisee of Podar Jumbo Kids
  4. Venkatesh Reddy, Founder of Huegah Life
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