[Student Voices]Unfair grading for arts, musicThe fine arts are being constantly confined. In school, all that most students care about are their grades.
Therefore, students refuse to participate if their grades are not on the line. If you observe a class like music or art, no one cares about the class unless it influences their grades.
So, how should this be changed? I think that the class structure of the fine arts should be changed to a freer, unregulated one where the ones with natural talent are not the only ones who are recognized.
First, we should eliminate the system of having a few projects each semester and grading them. This makes students feel they don’t need to participate in class unless they are working on these projects. Just take a look at a class after all grading is over.
No one shows any interest in the subject of art. They are all spending art class talking and laughing instead of doing anything even remotely related to art. The same goes for music.
Many students refuse even to sing along if they are not being graded. This shows the students’ tendency to participate only if scores are involved.
In other words, if the activity doesn’t get graded and placed in the transcript, students don’t participate in the class.
Besides, the act of measuring performance itself is unfair. Being artistic is something that usually comes naturally and is hard to gain with practice.
Therefore, asking students to produce a work of art if they are not good at it is asking too much of them. The same goes for music. Some students are naturally born with a good ear, whereas others are not.
The only remedy for these problems is constant training. So is it really fair to grade students on their performance in such fields? So, students end up going to academies just to get higher grades in art and music.
Think about this. We are not talking science and math, subjects that need more experienced people to fully understand the subject. We are talking music and art.
Instruction at academies does help to raise grades, but also increases students’ dislike of the subjects.
However, I do not think it a good idea to eliminate the scoring system altogether. If it were, there is a small chance that students might grow to like the subject for what it is, but there is also a larger chance that they could lose interest altogether, because there aren’t even scores and grades to worry about.
So, I believe that a new system of grading should be developed. More specifically, a system of more points given to the best participant should be given.
To explain, a student without much artistic skill could get full marks just by participating continuously in class. The current system means that even those who try their best have difficulty in getting good grades. However, this system will change that.
Previously, talented students could get full marks just if they had the skill, so there was no need for them to be interested in the subject in general. Now, they will have to show an artistic spirit to receive full marks.
To conclude, the current system of teaching art and music is unjustifiable. For one, it causes situations where no one thinks of these as subjects when grading has ended. For another, it is unfair to those students who simply do not have the artistic ability.
They will be forced to take extra lessons to get good grades, resulting in deepening dislike for the subject, causing a vicious cycle. So we need a system of measurement where those with good participation get credit, not just those with talent.
We seem to be forgetting the true meaning of art. Art is not a science. It is not based on being good or bad. What is important is that your heart is in it.
The current system for assessing art and music should be radically changed.
*senior at Bummul Middle School, Daegu
by Park Sung-Hyun
[e-mail to email@example.com or via fax to 82-2-751-9219]
More in Letters
A farewell to Kim Young-hie
Chasing the trends to survive
Avoiding the elephant in the room
Letters to the editor
Refute from Iranian Embassy