Categories
Education

Grades: Dictators hiding in disguise

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Schools, colleges, or any educational institution, including coaching classes play a pretty crucial role in all of our lives. Those are the grounds where a lot of ideas and concepts come into light; we form our opinions, base judgments, our morals and ethics build a foundation, catch up on gossip, etc. But what does education have in common no matter the level of it?

Grades, as mentioned in the title (If you guessed something different, I’d like to guess what you guessed).

Ughh grades..?

Each human being on this planet is familiar with the concept, use, importance, and aftermath of grades. I think even your pet (a theory based upon my pet dog) senses the importance of grades not just in your life but in the people associated with your life, as well, including the milkman (let’s not forget the newspaperman, mailman, etc.).

Consider grades as the least-liked character in your favorite movie or web series. Your feelings towards that particular character act like a chameleon, and your feelings towards your grades are no different. The relationship that we have with grades is subjective. It is dependent on the student and the professor, and the effect of it is dependent on the mood of your respective guardians (unless you burn it if it’s not enough).

The hate-love relationship

Our journey with grades officially begins when our parents leave us at an unknown place full of other kids and some adults. The seed of ‘progress is directly related to numbers’ is sown somewhere deep in the mind. With time, along with one’s physical and mental growth, the seed starts to develop as well. Are you able to imagine that grade plant somewhere in your mind whose life and death are connected to your life?

The plant cannot be perceived as a virus but that doesn’t make it an antibody as well. So what is it? 

The plant is nothing but the byproduct of human’s desperate efforts to measure things systematically, to give each and everything a rank, so that it could come under our nomenclature. It does sound a bit dramatic but have you ever analyzed the effects of such simple concepts? Now is the time.

The never-ending debate over grades

Have you ever come across statements like “I wish they forget to release the results,” or “They should conduct exams but not the evaluation process”? I don’t know about you, but I remember saying the first statement at least 4-5 times in Xth. But does that mean I hate the grading system? I don’t (because I got good grades).

+

If there was no relationship between education and evaluation, it’d be an impossible task for the students to understand their strengths and weaknesses in a particular subject, or skill, or sport. That’s how we’ve been improving our weaknesses for a long time.

The grading system proved to be an efficient, systematic, quick, and easy way for the professors, students, and their guardians. It certainly had a complete opposite and drastic effect on a student’s mental health. Indirectly or directly, the grading system or the measuring system of today made students absorb this idiotic fact that numbers define one’s success.

Readers, I’ve observed a woman, who’s a laborer, smile more than I do and that smile was real and pure. I could feel the degree of contentment in her single smile. So, numbers or grades only have power to an extent.

Adults, don’t you think it’s your responsibility to save the little ones from being suppressed by concepts like grades like you or your friends must’ve experienced? We cannot modify the grading system that is being used since the 18th century in just ten days or ten years. What we can do is teach our students this simple thing that,

‘Numbers are never going to leave you. They’ll follow you in every aspect of your life (even when you’re asleep). But that doesn’t mean they can control you. The reins are always in your hand. You just have to buckle up, stop being scared of the results or the outcomes and just focus on the working part. It is going to be a ride worth remembering.’

Conclusion

Some of you might be thinking that numbers/grades do define success, and I agree, they do. But allow me to remind you that these concepts or things are formed by us. We are to control them and not the other way around.

If you or your child, your friend, your student, or your neighbor is struggling and suffering because of grades, you’re not allowed by humanity to say ‘work hard or grow up,’ or something that will make them more miserable. Help them by just being there, and let them contact a therapist if needed.

Let’s support each other not just by wearing clothes that say ‘being human’ but by actually meaning it from the heart!

Categories
Develpoment Education Math

Learning with numbers

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash 

Learning with numbers can be fun. Wondering which alternate universe I’m referring to? Think about it for a second. It’s pretty straightforward, right? Either the right answer or wrong. There is no in-between. It’s not subjective. It is simply a sequence of steps to reach an answer that is already predetermined. 

Plus you get marks for steps in exams. So that’s a bonus. 

Unless you have a more MCQ format for exams. In which case, you can just pick the answer that is closest to your calculations. Still a bonus. 

But getting back to it. Numbers. Are they really as easy as 1, 2, 3? 

The basics of learning with numbers 

Ever got frustrated with your quadratic equation and wondered why you need to learn any of this? Learning math not only gives us a better understanding of science and technology, but it also helps with problem-solving skills and creativity. When it comes to counting and numerical operations, we are again dependent for math success on some foundational cognitive skills, such as sequential processing and selective attention, and on executive functions (the directive capacities of our minds) such as working memory (Source: Click here). 

The cognitive processes associated with numbers include: 

  • Spatial representations (Spatial memory, visualization, directionality) 
  • Counting and operations (Working memory, sequential processing, selective attention) 
  • Logical problem-solving (Planning, working memory, reasoning) 

Research sees a strong correlation between studying math and these abilities. Math requires various brain functions to work together. 

Learning with numbers

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash 

The application of numbers 

Ever ask: okay, but when am I ever going to use this quadratic equation in real life? 

The answer is, surprisingly, yes. Want to check if you can make a box of specific dimensions with the limited material you have? Quadratic equation. Want to know the distance a bombshell will explode at so as to understand the workings of the military? Quadratic equation. These two examples should give you the broad range of applications covered by quadratic equations. 

But it’s not just a quadratic equation. In general, we do use a lot of math in our everyday life. Let’s say you wake up 10 minutes late for your math class. Math helps you figure out which part of your daily routine you have to subtract in order to make it on time. Or you want to half that Pinterest recipe. Still need to deal with numbers. Probability of you winning that lottery game? Yep, you guessed it. Involves numbers. Calculations are such a big part of engineering and science as well. So the technology you use everyday? Yeah, that has quite a bit of math in the background too (Read more on application of math in medicine, right here).

It’s practically a part of us now. 

Learning with numbers

Photo by Antoine Dautry on Unsplash 

The inclusion of math in academic syllabi 

Studying numbers is something that has been encouraged from the primary levels of education. Is it helpful at all, though? Yes. Like we’ve established, numbers have become quite involved in who we are. EVEN that math (or any other course, for that matter) score is in a number form. Studying with numbers helps give direct exposure to ‘learn and apply’ methods. It uses abstract thinking and forces you to try to make sense using logic. 

Studying with numbers in conclusion, does impact cognitive development. 

And most importantly, remember. Don’t argue with 90 degree angles. They tend to be right. (Yes, not all math puns are bad. Just sum)