“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.”Jules Verne
Science class, or any other class, is made up of mistakes that carry a discounted grade and perhaps a discounted sense of self.
The education we sell, the one we wish for for our kids and the one we seek for ourselves, is best achieved by those that can tune out the bell ringing, point deducting, grade norming, and finger pointing.
In order to thrive in the “fail up” sales pitch of modern school culture, you must first have been imbued with high self-esteem, been born to the parents that get it, and been assigned to the teachers that don’t use grades as weapons.
In other words, you have to have won the lottery.
What if work were assessed using rubrics rather than grades? What if your report card were a digest of the type of work you tend to deliver, rather than a derivative numerical abstraction of the same? What if your final mark, if such a thing were necessary, were a measure of your improvement over time, rather than the mean of your performances over time?
What if your work, both the successes and the mistakes, were seen as the thing that leads you little by little to the truth?