Hamon in call for end to bad ‘notes’

France's education minister wants pupils’ marks to be "more encouraging"

24 June 2014

BAD MARKS discourage students and should be replaced by a more positive method of marking, France’s education minister Benoît Hamon has said.

Yesterday, he launched a “national conference on student evaluation” which he hopes with reach a consensus on school marking that is more positive than the current system.

“Our evaluation system highlights the shortcomings and failures of students, which can be very discouraging,” Mr Hamon said in an interview with Le Parisien at the launch of his first major project since becoming education minister earlier this year.

Instead of highlighting errors, assessments should “allow teachers and children to measure progress and what remains to be done”.

He suggested that marks in green pen highlighting what a pupil has done right could encourage them to work even harder, whereas red marks revealing their errors can put them off.

“Young people can be afraid of being wrong and do not answer questions for fear of making a mistake,” Mr Hamon said.

Supervised assessment, in which pupils are monitored as they work may be one answer, he suggested.

Discussions are set to run from July until December, and a team of education experts will carry out a tests on a range of alternative methods of marking, with the intention of reforming the system next year.

Photo: woodleywonderworks

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