- Culture/Subculture: Academic culture in college.
- Belief: Lack of objective assessment of students following the requirements and norms of the educational institution.
- Stance: College management and instructors must take measures to eliminate inequality among students. They should listen to students’ opinions on specific issues, argue their position, and give clear recommendations that need to be followed for successful exams.
One of the main problems in educational institutions is a biased assessment, overestimating or underestimating. Some educators, taking advantage of specific moments, often treat individual students incorrectly and make assessments that do not reflect a person’s actual knowledge. For example, a particular lecturer can assess students’ competence according to their criteria because of their desire or mood. In contrast, an undergraduate can turn a blind eye to these things to eventually complete the entire curriculum and graduate from an educational institution. The same assessment may be perceived differently by the student in those conditions when preceded by failure or success or when it repeats the previously received assessment many times. Evaluation can have several consequences: motivating or discouraging the desire to engage in scientific activity. In case of unfair behavior of a teacher and biased assessment, the top management should pay attention to this, listen to each party’s opinion, and do everything possible to eliminate the existing problem. Verification and evaluation of students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities should be an open and fair process of identifying and comparing the results of educational activities at a particular stage of learning with the requirements set by the curricula.
Within the framework of modern education, there are many problems and obstacles in the educational process and in establishing proper relations between a teacher and a student. In most cases, there are students’ faults, but often also the mistakes of teachers themselves. Some tutors, using special privileges, often make a subjective assessment based on a personal, biased opinion about a particular learner or the entire group as a whole. Indeed, educators are honored specialists and professionals in their field. Sometimes, when giving “good” or “bad” grades to a student, they are guided not by specific criteria established by educational institutions but by personal opinions. Some of them offend, as they say, out of good intentions and criticize when they see potential. This is also the wrong approach to the student, which can cause a lot of misunderstandings.
Among the main reasons for the lecturer’s quibbles, the most common are personal hostility and the desire to benefit. Students and their parents get used to this attitude, thereby creating a bad tradition, and themselves encourage teachers to such behavior. Teachers’ attitudes may be expressed regarding particular aspects, such as gender, race, nationality, orientation, or religion. Many things in the contemporary world are considered normal, but there is no concrete answer to why this is actually the case. Thus, that is the moment when white people notice more mistakes in black people’s writing, and professors are less likely to help minority students (Saleem 6:50-7:30). In fact, grades can affect both a student’s well-being and self-esteem, as well as their career. Pedagogical subjectivism is why computer and test forms of control with minimal participation of teachers are now preferred.
Indeed, not every student is ready to challenge his or her mark, fearing spoiling relations with a teacher and not mastering the academic discipline. In fact, by transforming silence into an act of action, people tend to expect consequences fraught with danger; everyone portrays a face of fear and horror in front of the factors of contempt, condemnation, or censure (Lorde 42). Learners get unsatisfactory results grades and retake exams several times in a row, hoping to rectify the situation. At the same time, a lecturer can intentionally go to the final goal and demand different, own conditions each time. Eventually, many of them get used to this arrangement and put up with it. They put up with “normality,” often causing negative consequences inside themselves so that everything continues as it should be (Flynn). Accordingly, despite completely unfulfilled work, a person receiving positive marks from a teacher can cause negative opinions from peers. There is a possibility that this student will continue to enjoy similar privileges, which will not affect the quality of the acquired knowledge in any way.
Consequently, the central belief of the students is fair, valid, and reliable evaluation of knowledge by clear assessment criteria. First of all, knowledge, skills, and abilities are evaluated to outline ways for both a teacher and a student to improve, deepen, and refine them. A teacher making an assessment must justify it each time, guided by logic and existing criteria. Rewards stimulate the development of favorable properties and features of psychology, and punishments prevent negative ones. A skillful combination of rewards and punishments provides optimal motivation, which, on the one hand, opens up the possibility for the development of positive qualities in students and, on the other hand, prevents the emergence of negative ones. If a person is not satisfied with the mark, tutors need to prove and explain the rationale for this assessment. A teacher should not show his or her personal problems at work but rather leave them at home. In addition, lecturers’ expectations regarding students’ academic performance should not be related to learners belonging to any social group.
It is evident that many things need to be changed, and some must be celebrated. Many of these concepts are often hidden in a fog of ignorance, where it isn’t easy to understand precisely what step should be taken. Based on Solomon’s heartfelt story, it is always possible to find meaning in any difficulty to start acting and solve the problem (Solomon 0:00 – 19:40). Thus, to correct the existing misunderstandings, it is necessary to take precise measures and impacts. Clearly defined evaluation criteria and their logical reasoning are one of the first steps to solving the problem. The management needs to adhere to specific standards for the selection of educators and listen to the opinion of students and their complaints about specific moments.
In conclusion, the modern educational system and the educational process have several advantages and disadvantages. Subjectivism and a personalistic approach to grading in colleges, universities, and schools is an urgent problem. Teachers may be in a bad mood or have a biased attitude towards a particular student in accordance with their personal opinion and view of specific elements. Many students are afraid to speak out to higher management about teachers’ incorrect and sometimes unethical behavior. In total, this can lead to undesirable consequences for the student: unwillingness to engage in educational activities, lack of self-confidence, and self-reliance. Thus, the higher management should pay attention to such moments and act based on specific plans, methods, and strategies. Tutors, in turn, should make reasoned marks, following clear instructions and manuals. Hence, in this case, the assessment should express the level of knowledge gained by a listener based on specific criteria of the educational institution and not on the lecturer’s opinion. When a student is not satisfied with something in the assessment, he should have the right to speak about this case using specific facts and arguments.
Flynn, Jessica. 10 Struggles of Being Neurodiverse in a Neurotypical World. The Mighty, 2018, Web.
Lorde, Audre. “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action”. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, edited by Audre Lorde, Crossing Press, 1984, pp. 40-44, Web.
“How the Worst Moments in Our Lives Make Us Who We Are” TED, uploaded by Andrew Solomon, 2014,Web.
“Why I Keep Speaking Up, Even When People Mock My Accent” TED, uploaded by Safwat Saleem, 2016, Web.