Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Trouble With Rubrics

Kohn, Alfie. "The Trouble With Rubrics." Feel-Bad Education And Other Contrarian Essays On Children And Schooling. 1st. Boston: Beacon Press, 2011. 100-106. Print.

annotated by Bobby Shaddox

Kohn’s contrarian essay explores a number of problems with rubrics. He views them as grading in disguise and argues that their use focuses students on how they’re doing, rather than being engaged with what they are learning. He goes into explicit examples of how writing rubrics can limit the chances students take and water down their work. The following quote exemplifies Kohn’s warning about rubrics, “ The whole time I’m writing, I’m not thinking about what I’m saying or how I’m saying it. I’m worried about what grade the teacher will give me, even if she’s handed out a rubric. I’m more focused on being correct than on being honest in my writing.”

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