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Grading, A Caste System

Pursuit of grades diverts time and attention away for exploring. A grade reflects certainty (100%) less an error rate. Plane crashes are unacceptable, ever. Building collapses are not tolerated, unless planned demolition. In education, a passing grade is teacher’s choice, constrained by any institutional guidelines. Why do grades matter? The hierarchy requires sorting and differentiation to determine every person’s placement regardless of physical characteristics and location.

More importantly, grades infuse a competitive and comparative mindset. Mindset reflects the “habits of mind formed by previous experience.” Teaching energy induces learning; therefore, the teacher’s mindset is critical. Grading is a “degree of measure,” but as a verb, it reflects energy flow. Grading suggests a “level or degree of inclination.” Inclination is the “condition of being mentally disposed,” so grading creates mindset. Here lies a circular definition, which like an ouroboros consumes itself, unable to move in any direction.

Competing and comparing are energies. Male energy directs an outward force, while female pulls inward. Self-defense and non-aggression describe positive applications of these energies that exist in everyone. A light pairing requires a dark pair. Coercion and violence reflect negative male energy. Indifference or lack of empathy reveals the dark side of female energy.

Grading is lifeless statistics. Estimating and assessing are better energies at directing the development of a cultured adult. Cultured refers to development under controlled natural conditions. Knowledge must become a characteristic or an intrinsic part of the child’s nature. Instead, knowledge is treated as an attribute or derivative aspect. Creativity relies on the variety and quality of the inculcated information, understanding, and wisdom. Testing and grading are not robust enough for younger children, but decent tools to assess the teaching of techniques.

Efficacy of the energy exchange during learning requires intimacy, which can be achieved in small working groups. A sextet uses six voices or musical instruments to harmonically stage music. Now place a conductor or teacher in the center. The seed of life displays this relationship of one center and six voices circled around it. The teacher can see how everything resonates, detect discordance, and make appropriate changes. Communication skills matter. A child’s ability to verbally describe something offers better proof of knowledge retention than any gradable written effort.