Nick presents a perspective from around the world, Australia. This is not a story with a single question, let alone a single answer or two camps. It is a narrative needing multiple questions, new conversations, and new ways of engaging those in the classrooms in the conversations.
You may have read about the Edmonton, Canada, teacher who expected to be sacked for handing out zeros. It’s been linked to sites as diverse as Metafilter, where a long and interesting debate ensued, and Cracked, where it was labelled one of the ongoing ‘pussifications’ of schools. (Seriously? I know you’re a humour site but was there some other way you could have put that? Very disappointed.)
Basically, the Edmonton Public School Board decided that, rather than just give a zero for a missed assignment, this would be used as a cue for follow-up work and additional classes at school or home. Their argument – you can’t mark work that hasn’t been submitted, let’s use this as a trigger to try and get submission, in case the source is external or behavioural. This, of course, puts the onus on the school to track the students, get the additional work…
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