Our whole lives we have been taught that grades are what measure our capacity and efforts. In fact, we have become so obsessed with grades, that we have based our whole academic lives on them; we give them the power to control us.
A few days ago I got my biology test back. I got a 6 out of 8, which is not a bad grade at all, but I was definitely expecting something more that would payback all the effort I put into studying. When revising the test, I noticed that actually knew all of the correct answers, meaning I had totally learned the right concepts, but it where those small dumb mistakes that had driven me away from a top mark. So I thought, if I actually learned everything I should, then why am I disappointed about an insignificant number? That’s the thing; we give so much value to a number, that we are obstructed from what really matters, learning. Think about it, a grade is just a number, its empty, it has absolutely no value, but still we use it as our motivation. Going back to the biology test, why did my payback have to be the grade, when it could have been the simple fact that I had learned something new.
Other times, the fear of the number wards us from actually learning. You know how it’s easier to memorize than to learn, so students (including myself) prefer to memorize a whole textbook to make sure that they do well on a test, than actually make sure they understand each concept. Doesn’t this sound ridiculous? We are killing our knowledge because we fear a number. Again, all of this comes from the culture we where raised in, a culture where a number is capable of defining a person.