In 2005, I damn near quit teaching.

I was disgusted by so much of what traditional school does to people. I was tired of assigning homework and then nagging kids to do it – and even when they did do it, they simply went through the motions, hating every minute of it.

I was tired of grading stuff – spending hours providing helpful comments, only to watch them look at their own grade and then their neighbors – leaving the assignment on the floor, the comments unread.

But rather than pulling the plug on what would have been a very short teaching career, I decided to change. I began my own little ‘teaching revolution’.

I read and researched.

I unlearned.

I remade myself.

For five years, I have abolished grading from my classroom. Yes, I have to give a mark on the report card, but that’s it.

And here is what I have to share with you. Here are a series of blog posts that attempt to summarize my five year experiment with abolishing grades.

I hope you can take something from these posts and be bold and couragous enough to provide yourself and your students the opportunity to experience learning as it should – gradeless and for the love of learning.

 No Good Reason to Grade – here’s why there really is no good reason to grade

 Museum of Education - here’s why we need to abolish grading

 The Folly of Rubrics and Grades – here’s why rubrics and grades are so subjective and ultimately don’t measure up to the task.

 What leads to success? – here’s how grades are at best unhelpful and at worst harmful towards our ultimate goals for children.

 Abolishing Grading Video – character education and collaboration – here is a 5 minute video on how grading sabotages the best kinds of character education and collaboration

 Grading Effort: Unintended Consequences – here’s why we shouldn’t grade effort.

 Grades are artifically sabotaging one kid at a time… – here’s how grading sabotages learning.

 Destructive Grading Schemes – here’s more on how grading sabotages learning

Grades & Risk Aversion – here’s even more on  how grading sabotages learning

 End Grading’s Reign of Extrinsic Terror – here’s how grading sabotages motivation

 Grades are Distracting – here’s an example of how grading can distract us from real learning.

 Information vs Reward and Punishment – Jerome Bruner and John Wooden both agree, rewards and punishment must go. Because grades are a judgement, they serve no real purpose in learning.

 Pink, Godin, Kohn and asymptotes – Grades get learning wrong because they are linear but learning is an asymptote.

 Replacing Grading – here’s how I replaced grading even though I still have to place a grade on the report card.

 Assessment Malpractice – here’s a brief summary of the two kinds of assessment: formative and summative.

 Fears of Abolishing Grading – here’s what scares us

 Detoxing students from grade use – if you chose to abolish grades, here’s how students may react. 6 steps based on my 5 year study.

 No Grades and Group work – here’s a true story how having no grades can make group a beautiful thing.

I blog everyday about topics like this at

Related posts:

  1. Destructive Grading Schemes
  2. Assessment Malpractice
  3. Abolish Grading Video – character education and collaboration

Source: Ecology of Education

More on ecology:

  1. Collaboration Agent
  2. Using Technology to Support Real Learning in Alberta
  3. What Makes a Master Teacher?
  4. Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the Learning Revolution
  5. Winning: the ultimate distraction