November 3, 2013

Thinking Through the Awards Debate

Every once in a while something I care a lot about comes up in the media and is massively misrepresented. It often becomes pretty difficult for me to let it go. Last Sunday's Calgary Herald article on St. Basil's School moving away from traditional award ceremonies allowed one voice to dominate the conversation. No perspective was added from the teaching staff or students attending the school, and the substantial research in support of the school's shift away from honour roll ceremonies was virtually ignored. Most regrettably, the over-simplification of a complex issue resulted in many public contributions to the conversation that were reactionary and ill-informed. The primary arguments in favour of an honour roll seemed to be that it provides recognition for hardworking students, as well as motivation for them to do great work. Both perspectives deserve to be thoughtfully examined.