‘The Power of I’ at the Carnival of Education

At this week’s Carnival of Education, hosted by The Ed Wonks, the Science Goddess writes about The Power of I as in Incomplete.

The idea is that if a student does not complete an assignment, s/he doesn’t have a grade of zero assigned. Instead, the student receives an “I” along with a consequence (e.g. assignment to a lunchtime or after school study hall) and then makes up the work.

The idea is to make this a schoolwide system so students know they must do their work, sooner or later.

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  1. The replies to the article “The Power of I” at the other web site are interesting. They mention the “Punitive” piece at the Secondary Schools. That’s because this concept of giving an Incomplete as a temporary grade wherein the student can revisit the assignment and have its content reviewed and graded later seems to be primarily the need of students in grades 9-12.

    Now that’s likely because in grades K-8, some sense of the importance of handing in work on the date it is due was not communicated to the little ones or their parents. Not a good thing. But setting up a program to manage the inflow of “late” assignments is also a ridiculous waste of a teachers or anyone’s time.

    And if all this institutionalized schooling is supposed to be part of a preparation for life and upping the ante on a young person’s ability to make their way in a post school world; what good is the lesson that not having something done when it is due is excusable? Just imagine during an employment interview a hiring authority asking, “and what’s your average when it comes to being late at getting things done? Two days or two weeks?” Does anyone think that is what employers are looking for?

  2. I’ll have to think about it, but my initial reaction is that giving Is is a remarkably bad idea.

  3. greifer says:

    yeah, because we wouldn’t want to teach anyone that deadlines matter.

    if you don’t show up for your sales pitch there is no doing it later. if you don’t go to the surgical watrd on time, there is no later. uf you don’t stop the water leak now, there is no later.

  4. “yeah, because we wouldn’t want to teach anyone that deadlines matter.”

    Actually, that’s only one of several reasons.

  5. Richard Aubrey says:

    Or what?

  6. See the pingback.


  1. […] Goddess is discussing the idea of giving Incompletes in secondary school (thanks to Joanne Jacobs for pointing it out–I’m not sure how I missed it on my first read through the Carnival this […]