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(News.com.au)   US researchers have discovered another thing that can hinder a child's development through anxiety. Marking assignments in red pen   (news.com.au ) divider line
    More: Fail, Montessori school, University of Colorado  
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3222 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jan 2013 at 3:19 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-01-22 12:04:12 AM  
9 votes:
RED pen is bad for children's development. Or so say US researchers from University of Colorado who claim the pen colour can have a negative impact on how students feel about themselves and their teachers.

Good. Kids need to learn that self-esteem can only come from accomplishments and actual knowledge.
2013-01-22 03:22:13 AM  
4 votes:
If the kids want less red marks, they should get better grades.
2013-01-22 03:34:35 AM  
3 votes:

C18H27NO3: The color of the pen is irrelevant as we had just been conditioned to know what that color implied.
If today we started using chartreuse pens as a replacement then somewhere down the road this same story would not be a about red pens but rather chartreuse ones causing the same issues.


Bingo. This whole issue is utter horseshiat, it's just a socially conditioned response to whatever the standard "you're an idiot" pen color is. Stop using red, and you'll just move that same response to whatever color winds up being the most commonly used- red was used because it's easily available and distinct from the blue ink, black ink, or pencils used for standard writing. Bright and distinctive is a useful feature when doing corrections, so if idiots ban red, something else will emerge.  The response is just a few of being told you're an idiot via corrections, it's not a fear of the ink color itself.
2013-01-22 04:15:00 AM  
2 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: If the kids want less

fewer red marks, they should get better grades.
2013-01-22 02:16:28 AM  
2 votes:
2013-01-22 06:12:59 PM  
1 vote:
www.onepennysheet.com
2013-01-22 11:28:43 AM  
1 vote:

limeyfellow: If they switched to another ink colour, won't we have the same problem with that colour down the road too?


Probably.

The problem is not the pen colour, but kids not checking their work before handing it in.

That's a problem, certainly, but I'm not sure it's in scope. The reason kids get stressed out over red pens is that they've come to be associated with being wrong, and they can't handle being wrong. That's a learned skill, of course -no one is born able to gracefully handle being wrong- but the teaching of it has gotten less and less effective over the years, and so kids are taking longer to figure it out (and more of them never do). They aren't raised with a concept of not being "right," and so they see any reminder of their own need to grow as a scathing insult, a total rejection and damnation of everything about them.

That's what needs to change. This "red pen stress" thing, while genuine, is nothing more than a product of not knowing how to take being wrong: fix that problem, and this one vanishes.

How are kids supposed to learn if you don't show them the errors and how to fix it in the future?

How indeed.
2013-01-22 08:50:18 AM  
1 vote:
In secondary and post-secondary education it's much less the pen color that caused anxiety for me and more if the teacher/prof could tell me WTF was wrong.

Had an english lit professor who would just give you a grade. No markings on the paper, no explaination. How the fark do you learn from that? Complained to the Dean and was told to "try harder"....try harder at what?

Had poli sci prof that you could tell spent time on each paper, marked them up (good and bad) and was open to discussing any issues. He could tell where you were from and where your parents fell economically after 2-3 papers. Probably my favorite prof, learned a ton, and really began to understand differing viewpoints on the political spectrum from that class.

Sometimes it's the student, sometimes it's the teacher......it's never the pen color.
2013-01-22 08:43:44 AM  
1 vote:
They can have my red pens when they pry them from my cold, dead hands.
2013-01-22 08:40:53 AM  
1 vote:
Um...the red pen is how I knew which answers I got wrong. The score at the top was what mattered. What the fark is wrong with these people?
2013-01-22 08:32:30 AM  
1 vote:
no kid these days ever gets to hear those all important character building words....

upload.wikimedia.org


You lost Bobby, your a loser Bobby!
2013-01-22 08:22:36 AM  
1 vote:
Students are conditioned with negative responses to red pens not because the color red is used for noting mistakes but because those marks generally signify the achievement on an assignment rather than progress, which students internalize as ability as opposed to development. Conference with students for a short while, perhaps on writing noting great word usage and literary elements, identify one or two areas where grammar impedes understanding of the reader or gaps in the narrative or explanation exist, and let the student work again. The color of the pen is immaterial compared to the barrage of nitpicked mistakes thrown to a student who only now knows this plethora is wrong according to unknown rules and could never hope to remember each mark much less know what is proper nor what to maintain.

This is not about the self-esteem of students because of red or corrections but giving a reasonable amount of instruction to learn and apply before grappling with a new task. People make mistakes all the time, but somehow in schools mistakes have been given this inability to be corrected, this finality, and we think this is a good idea.
2013-01-22 07:59:00 AM  
1 vote:
Red never bothered me, silly article.
2013-01-22 07:53:47 AM  
1 vote:
Your kids are sissies and you should be ashamed. I'm surprised their grandparents want to be seen with them.
2013-01-22 07:09:01 AM  
1 vote:

VRaptor117: //A clean paper with a big red "A+" is still beautiful


I had one professor who would on often give me an A- because, while he would tell me my writing was much better than most of the class, he could tell that I was often hammering papers out quickly and not taking much time to proof. Even if the paper was fairly clean, he was just noting bits of phrasing that revision would have cleaned up. So I got some fairly clean papers back with a bit "A-" at the top.

\Probably my favorite prof.
2013-01-22 07:02:11 AM  
1 vote:
A similar study with the exact same conclusions came out when I was in high school. When we asked a teacher about it, she that even student teachers were taught to consider using different colors for grading assignments when she was in school, 10 years before that. This definitely not news.

/Red makes it easy to see where you screwed up
//A clean paper with a big red "A+" is still beautiful
///Slashies!
2013-01-22 04:57:46 AM  
1 vote:
I can't help but think that the researchers who do these studies would be a lot more credible - and a lot more useful - if they could scientifically demonstrate an approach that works better.  Or if instead of just stopping at "it makes the kiddies anxious" they could go on to actually prove or disprove "and that makes them do worse in school".

But I also can't help but think that science journalism would be a lot more useful if it actually told us what, exactly, the study concluded, rather than trying to reinterpret the study's conclusion in terms that they think their readers will understand.  (Or rather, I suspect more accurately, in terms that the science journalist can understand.)

/To be a bit more clear, I think the U of Colorado study's conclusion may not have been accurately represented in the article.
2013-01-22 04:18:37 AM  
1 vote:
So if a kid is getting "A"'s in red pen, does that harm or hurt his/her self-esteem? In other words, is it the grade itself giving the poor dear the low self esteem issues, the color of the pen, or that they're just not getting the concept of the lesson and teacher is too worried about whether the color of the pen being used to grade the exam is messing with the students' heads and not taking time to make sure all of them know what the f*ck is being taught?

Because I notice that kids who are getting A's and B's aren't having any "self-esteem" issues, no matter what color they're being graded in. Nor are the football jocks who already have enough egos for fourteen other kids.
2013-01-22 03:48:41 AM  
1 vote:
And here I spent my school years being upset because I was wrong, and mad at myself for not getting things right. Clearly I should have been blaming the pens all along!
2013-01-22 03:47:57 AM  
1 vote:
I wish my boss would mark my work in red pen. Black and blue don't really stand out enough sometimes.
2013-01-22 03:27:15 AM  
1 vote:
The color of the pen is irrelevant as we had just been conditioned to know what that color implied.
If today we started using chartreuse pens as a replacement then somewhere down the road this same story would not be a about red pens but rather chartreuse ones causing the same issues.
2013-01-22 03:24:02 AM  
1 vote:
Instead, take the red pen and jam it in the lungs of all the parents who are raising these losers.
2013-01-22 02:32:14 AM  
1 vote:

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: Grade in blue ink, but a staple a Burger King application to any of the little snowflakes who fail a math test.


Dammit. Staple the application to their test. Or do it the first way, I don't care.
2013-01-22 02:31:31 AM  
1 vote:
Grade in blue ink, but a staple a Burger King application to any of the little snowflakes who fail a math test.
2013-01-22 01:49:58 AM  
1 vote:
I had a professor who graded in green because he thought it was less stressful than red, and another professor who would grade with whatever pastel gel pens his daughters had left lying around. Now, in addition to an aversion to red ink, I have an issues with green ink and pearlescent or sparkly pink and purple inks. Oh, and because my english comp professor graded in pencil, I've got issues with that too.
2013-01-22 12:48:29 AM  
1 vote:
Good.

As a substitute teacher, I have  always used the red pen.

I will keep using it.
2013-01-22 12:28:37 AM  
1 vote:

ArkAngel: RED pen is bad for children's development. Or so say US researchers from University of Colorado who claim the pen colour can have a negative impact on how students feel about themselves and their teachers.

Good. Kids need to learn that self-esteem can only come from accomplishments and actual knowledge.


This, again.
2013-01-22 12:15:36 AM  
1 vote:

ArkAngel: Good. Kids need to learn that self-esteem can only come from accomplishments and actual knowledge.


this
2013-01-21 11:55:46 PM  
1 vote:
What a fascinating study and thoughtful article on a topic that's only been written and re-written about for the last decade or so. I look forward to the follow-up article next year in which it's suggested that marking assignments in red pen can cause anxiety in children, thereby hindering their development, and all of the fresh and very insightful commentary it creates.
 
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