70% of teachers complain about student evaluation system
TOKYO, Aug. 13 Kyodo
More than 70% of elementary and junior high school teachers are unhappy with a new system for evaluating students’ academic achievements, according to an education ministry survey released Wednesday.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology picked 100 elementary schools and 70 junior high schools nationwide at random and sent questionnaires to their teachers in June, to which 1,148 elementary school teachers and 863 junior high school teachers responded.
The system to adopt ”absolute criteria” for evaluation instead of relative rankings of students’ academic achievements was introduced in April last year. The new system gives more weight to teachers’ evaluation of individual students, including such things as the student’s attitude to learning.
According to the survey, 70% of elementary school teachers and 79% of junior high school teachers complained the system requires cumbersome and complicated operations for grading students, and that they barely have time now for other things, such as preparing for class or having conversations with students.
In the survey, 66% of the elementary school teachers and 62% of the junior high school teachers said they are now able to look closely into each student’s performance.
Asked whether the system has made it possible for teachers to evaluate students in a way that increases the students’ desire to learn, 42% of elementary school teachers and 40% of junior high school teachers said it has, while 42% of elementary school teachers and 46% of junior high school teachers replied in the negative.
The evaluations at junior high school are counted as admission criteria for high school but 76% of the junior high school teachers said evaluation under the new system is not compatible with such admission criteria.
The ”absolute criteria” involves evaluating students from four points of view, including knowledge and understanding of the academic fields, and puts emphasis on evaluation from the point of view of the students’ interests, eagerness to learn and attitude toward each academic course.
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