The “School without grades – how to do that” conference was held as part of the “Learning Schools” (LES) program at the Royal Castle in Warsaw on June 9. It was attended by 250 people from all over Poland – teachers, headmasters, NGOs representatives and universities. The conference was attended by Minister of National Education Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska.
The conference started with the addresses given by “LES” program Director Marta Dobrzyńska and President of the Center for Citizenship Education Dr. Jacek Strzemieczny, who spoke about many years of activities promoting the idea of formative assessment, which is one of substantive bases of the “LES” Program. They also spoke about the efforts to introduce the formative assessment to Polish schools as well as activities and successes of the “Child without grades” coalition initiated by the Center for Citizenship Education.
“I like the school without grades. There is a question how to extend the descriptive assessment beyond grade 1 through 3,” Minister of National Education Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska said and declared that she is an ally of the “Child without grades” initiators. “I would like more schools to use this method. I believe that good examples and persuasion are better than statutory obligation,” she added. In her address, the Minister also referred to the issue of amendment to the Act of the education system and introducing the changes connected with the methods of pupil assessment in the early school education.
Among the panelists there were experts in education, pedagogy and psychology, and practitioners. The first of the two discussion panels was participated by early school education teachers. They shared their experiences from the process of giving up the traditional methods of pupil assessment. They pointed to the advantages for children taught under the “without grades” system and emphasized the importance of making parents and other teachers understand the new situation.
The second panel was participated by headmasters and experts in education, namely: Prof. Małgorzata Żytko (Faculty of Education, University of Warsaw), Elżbieta Tołwińska-Królikowska (Federation of Educational Initiatives), well-known psychologist and educational activist Jacek Jakubowski and former Minister of Education Katarzyna Hall. The panel participants discussed the opportunities of introducing the formative assessment not only at the stage of early school education but also at higher levels. They also discussed about the culture of school work and the headmaster role in introducing the changes into the students’ educational progress.
The report from the conference is available at the “LES” Program website:
Information about the “Child without grades” coalition can be found at:
Report from the conference at the Ministry of National Education homepage can be found at:
The “Learning Schools” (LES) is a program addressed to headmasters and teachers of all types and levels of schools supporting introduction of changes which bring the increase of teaching and learning effectiveness. It introduces formative assessment to schools and supports cooperation of teacher teams. The “LES” Program has been implemented by the Center for Citizenship Education Foundation in cooperation with the Polish-American Freedom Foundation since 2000.