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Scores vs Feedback

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

“Do you want scores or feedback?”, I asked. A bunch of middle school students answered, “Scores! We want to know who is the best.”

Appalled with their response, I started explaining what I meant. I said, “With scores, you just get a number. But with feedback, you will get comments and strategies to improve your performance. So what do you want?”

“Scores! We want to know who is the best.” I was shocked to see the mindset of these children. What are they learning from their surroundings?

Competition is the key? Scores measure success? Focus on who comes first? At all times, competitiveness without a learning mindset is dangerous. It kickstarts a landslide of problems in developing confidence, collaboration, and leadership skills.

Shouldn’t we make the change in the right direction? Shouldn’t we teach the pitfalls of the comparison trap? Shouldn’t we inculcate the learning mentality instead of a winning mentality?

With these thoughts rushing in my head, I looked into their eyes, smiled and asked, “Which of the two will help you learn?” They answered “Feedback”. I nodded and started giving personalized feedback in such a way to inspire learning.

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