Objectives and Grades in Biology

1950 The American history teacher  
Modern educational philosophy places emphasis on developing childrein by means of problems and subjects rather than on the development of subjects by the use of children. The child and his needs comes first. If a choice is to be made between the needs of the child and the teaching of the subject, the child comes first. A teacher who replies, "I'm hired to teach biology, and I haven't time to teach this other stuff and still get them through their exams" -is considerably off the beam in his
more » ... sophy. Biology materials are excellent for developing many of the goals useful to the child in solving all sorts of life-problems. The emphasis should be on the goals, however, not on the subject. And of course most of the goals should be useful in solving the problems children think and worry about, not on those we think they should be worrying about. A little anticipation of a student's future needs is not ruled out-of-order, but it is questionable whether we should accept many goals of this sort. Most high schools with which the author is familiar are still using an A-B-C grading system or some equivalent. A little progress has been made by adding a so called attitude rating in numbers. Thus a student receives a C-3. Upon reading the key on the report card a parent learns this means-"C=70-79;" "3-attitude passive, indifferent. " It is difficult to see how such a rating could be determined or justified if we were really doing all we could to help each of our students to meet his needs. The grading system itself seems to reflect our failure to think and teach more than the "8 out of 10 facts on his tests" philosophy. Another interpretation of " C " might be-' He does about as well as the average of his class". This also fails to indicate what he failed to do well, what he did well, or what he neglected to do at all. It seems to me we need to re-evaluate our philosophies of education in terms of the needs of the human beings we teach in 1950. We should -then be able to change our courses and teaching methQds,
doi:10.2307/4438166 fatcat:izyo4i2yajgojaqehngzp7466y