A seminar was held June 12 on the "Macabre harmonization" of grades [fr]
« The grades were too high so I had to harmonize them down." How many times have our students heard such remarks? The French educational system has high expectations, and so traditonally, it is impossible to get outstanding grades in France, or rather it is impossible for numerous students to obtain outstanding grades.
Tests too short, or too easy, "bonus" questions - the list of excuses justifying too many high distinctions in a class are numerous. As a result, mechanisms are put into place to harmonize grades down in classes. However, this discourages students who lose confidence in their abilites and resign themselves to be content with a pass.
Such is the discourse of André Antibi, researcher in didactics and founder of the assocation of the "Mouvement Against the Macabre Harmonization". The Macrabre Harmonization is this phenomenon by which under social pressure, teachers feel obliged, in order to be perceived legitimate, to give out a certain percentage of poor grades even in classes of high level. Today, 96% recognize its existence according to M. Antibi.
Therefore, M. Antibi is currently advocating for a educational and social reform. He has developed an alternative approach to marking that he calls: « l’Evaluation par Contrat de Confiance ». Such method, already implemented in certain sectors of education, has proven to allow students to regain confidence and motivation and drives them to work harder.
Last Friday, on June 12, a seminar was held to discuss the impovement of the quality of marking in France and to put in place a learning environmnet where students feel worthwhile.