No grades at school: emoticons arrive on the report – Chronicle


Modena, 14 February 2020 – That is yours school report, laugh or despair? The times of the ‘bravo and ‘bravissimo seem very distant, even those of the coveted 6 risk disappearing. On the other hand, in a present where we are used, even if not all, to indicate elementary and middle schools as primary and secondary, the same Traditionally understood vote can evolve into an ’emoticon’; Englishism refers to the yellow smiley face that until yesterday translated moods on smartphones and which now seems to be preparing to become an extended judgment meter among the desks. This happens in the primary school Rodari of Modena, within two first classes.

It is true that this is an experiment, and moreover limited to the first quarter, but the idea (not an isolated case on the national scene) responds, as the manager explains (once we would have written principal) Daniele Barca, “to a multidisciplinary vision”. Therefore, it is no longer a dry grade in a given subject, but a self-assessment that the pupil gives and then compares with the judgment of the teachers, looking more for attitudes and learning paths than for cold numbers.

The project it is called, in fact, ‘Beyond discipline’ and it works like this: the parents of the pupils are given a card (‘I like and I can do) where the emoticons are there to indicate three possible reactions related to their ability in areas such as knowing how to write letters, read words, know the body parts, write sentences. Under each of these voices the yellow face can express negative amazement, neutral indifference or a positive smile.

The same form, for that particular pupil, will also be filled in by the teachers, so when comparing the two papers, the parents, but also the pupil himself, will have the opportunity to reflect on the skills acquired and on the major or minor predispositions. Having said that, it should be emphasized that at the end of the school year the grades “Once upon a time” are destined to return also at the Rodari di Modena, but the project is nonetheless highly innovative: “It is – explains the executive Barca – a more pedagogical approach that goes beyond discipline in the strict sense and involves, above all, the child in an educational comparison. In this way the pupil will have greater self-awareness and the first quarter, as the ministry indicates, will be primarily formative “. A school more interested in how to get to a ‘6’ instead of voting as a mathematical outcome of the tests faced. A school, again, where the pupil evaluates himself and can thus talk about it with the teachers, in the hope that, in the end, the yellow smiley face will smile.

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