I personally feel very validated when I get a good grade, but I also have learned through my experiences during the first semester of being in the ib diploma program that grades aren’t everything.
I like grades because I feel they are a relatively honest reflection of my performance, but such was not the case for ToK this year. I got a 100 on everything, and I know for a fact that those grades don’t reflect on my writing or the amount of thought and refining that goes into my assignments. However, I understand where my teacher is coming from with the grades. He wants to see the ib learner profile traits at play and of course some always are.
I think that assessing a student’s performance based on the learner profile won’t necessarily get rid of any stress or feeling of having to “get something done”, because assignments are responsibilities no matter what way performance is being assessed. For this reason, a drawback might be students being so used to the number game, that it becomes difficult to see an assignment as much more than something to get over with. However, I definitely see the benefits in this practice, because it could help redirect the mindset of tasks being a burden, to tasks being a personal exploration and opportunity for growth.
This applies more directly to academic classes, and especially to math. I despise learning what to do and how to do it, but not why. When this happens, I become awfully frustrated, but somehow the grade is still good, and of course it’s all because of the focus of the class. I hate the fact that my grades are good, but that in the effort of getting them to be so, I don’t feel the passion I should about learning. I am in a way forced to leave that behing. That’s why I think a different grading system is ideal for ib classes, because the focus is now not on understanding material at a surface level, but about being invested and fascinated with learning things deeply.
It’s a million times better to focus on becoming a better learner than to focus on accomplishing a task, retrieving information on how things occur, that leaves not fulfillment or meaning in students and will be forgotten as soon as is turned in. I think we, as students, would complete assignments more willingly and devotedly , having that there is a more lasting significance to it. Bonds, family sentiment, and interaction would also grow as we learn that learning isn’t a competition of numbers but one of growing together.