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Red pens too agressive, teachers told.

  • December 6th, 2008 @ 04:24 AM
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  • 21 replies
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Red pen too agressive, teachers told

TEACHERS have been told to stop marking schoolchildren's work with red pen because it is an "aggressive" colour.
Queensland's Deputy Opposition Leader Mark McArdle told parliament today that teachers were being advised to reconsider their pen choice because it may offend children.
Mr McArdle tabled a Queensland Health document proposing "strategies for addressing mental health wellbeing in any classroom".
It says: "Don't mark in a red pen (which can be seen as aggressive) - use a different colour."
"Given your 10-year-old Labor government presides over the lowest numeracy and literacy standards of any state in Australia, don't you think it's time we focused on classroom outcomes rather than these kooky, loony, loopy, lefty policies?" Mr McArdle asked.
Premier Anna Bligh called the question trivial at a time of "such economic peril".


Reply Posted: December 6th, 2008 @ 04:30 AM
I saw this the other day, and I find it stupid, I never felt that bad when I saw a few red marks on my tests. There is no point to change the color, what if they changed it to green lets say, from then on green will be aggressive? Changing the color will not help the students in anyway.

Reply Posted: December 6th, 2008 @ 04:33 AM
I wonder what's next, black pens are considered racist?

Reply Posted: December 6th, 2008 @ 04:37 AM
People have been saying that for years. It went on when I was in school but it never went too far.

Reply Posted: December 6th, 2008 @ 04:45 AM
The first time I heard of this was 4 years ago, and it's in the US. Teachers started to shun red pens and replaced it with "more acceptable" color, purple. They said that (red) color may lower confidence. Article in spoiler (if you're interested to read it).

They may say red is aggressive and reminds of blood, but geez, black is often associated with death - that doesn't mean seeing their papers commented in black ink makes them suicidal. I don't think it's the color per se that demoralises children, but the manner their error is pointed out. I have seen papers that are commented on rather harshly.

Reply Posted: December 6th, 2008 @ 09:55 AM
WOW, what is the world coming to when you get criticized because you use a red pen. And asked to not use them to boot.

Is this the work of the super extreme left-winged liberals wanting to make everything perfect for little Suzie and Waldo?

Reply Posted: December 6th, 2008 @ 10:13 AM
A line in a document suggested a preferred ink color for grading? This is an outrage. We should all get really worked up about this.

Reply Posted: December 6th, 2008 @ 10:40 AM
An increasingly popular grading theory insists red ink is stressful and demoralizes students, while purple, the preferred color, has a more calming effect.

"Purple is a more approachable color."
That explains why everyone loves Ysabel so much - all the purple.

Irvine said that in elementary schools, it's unnecessary to point out every error. Instead, a teacher should find a more delicate way to help a child learn.
If you don't point out errors, the kids will assume they were right, and keep making the same mistake over and over.

"This is a kinder, more gentler education system," Paper Mate spokesman Michael Finn said. "And the connotation of red is that it is not as constructive as purple."
This is an education system that didn't quite work for mister Finn... "kinder, more gentler"? And he's a spokesman? A spokesman's job is to say the right things.

"We try to be as gentle as we can and not slice children's thoughts to pieces with a red pen," said Laurie Francis, principal of Del Mar Hills Academy. "The red mark is associated with 'This is wrong,' and as you're trying to guide students in the revision process, it doesn't mean this is wrong. It's just here's what you can do better."
It sounds like a better solution is to write both positive and negative comments in the same color, so they won't associate one color with negative comments.

"If it's in red, they want to put it in their desks real quickly so nobody else can see," she said. "If it's in another color, they're a little more comfortable."
I'm pretty sure students hide it in their desks when they get a bad grade, not because of the color of the marks. If I got a test back and it said (in red) "100% Excellent Work!", I can guarantee I wouldn't be hiding it in shame.

Lorri Santamaria, who instructs aspiring teachers at California State University San Marcos, said callous grading can cause kids to loathe school, and she cautions her students against correcting tests in red.
Callous grading is a problem. Grading in red doesn't mean you're grading callously, however. And grading in some other color doesn't make your grading any less callous.
"And, of course, kids also like purple because it's the color of Barney."
That's true. Of course, there are probably about as many slightly older kids who hate Barney with a vengeance

Last edited by Wade8813; December 6th, 2008 at 10:42 AM..

Reply Posted: December 6th, 2008 @ 10:51 AM
this is absolute rubbish!! when i was at school i never really cared about the fact they wrote on red pen. it actually helped coz i could tell that it was their writing but a mile. teachers write in red coz thats what teachers are supposed to do, its just the way in my opinion. now im in college they write in black pens on my work- i would prefer if they wrote in red shows where the teachers writing is and the students

Reply Posted: December 6th, 2008 @ 10:55 AM
"Awww the poor itty bitty childrens and their sad little feelings"

I'm sick of this coddling bull****. You know what hurts the eyes? A failing grade, not the ink it's written in. In which case, the kids need to get smarter. People are going so soft on the new generations that it kind of scares me as to what kind of future mankind has when left in the hands of these soft, overly spoiled, extremely pampered and hyper-protected next generation.

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