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(Boston Globe)   Teachers switch to purple pens to correct papers since red is too harsh. Here comes the pseudo-science   ( divider line
    More: Stupid  
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11218 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Aug 2004 at 6:26 PM (17 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

174 Comments     (+0 »)

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2004-08-23 1:39:20 PM  
But what happens if you push a purple pen on the swings?
2004-08-23 1:39:56 PM  
Wow. From now on, I think I'm going to blame all my problems on the fact that my elementary school teachers used red pens, and now I'm psychologically scarred for life.
2004-08-23 1:52:28 PM  
not very practical. take it from a TA who graded psych 101 tests for 4 years, red works because it contrasts with the black text, purple won't stand out, making it hard to see where corrections, marks etc were made. and by the way, if you see a whole block of red, it should be pretty aversive and frightening, since it means you farked up pretty bad. god, next thing you know they'll be banning duck duck goose and swings...
2004-08-23 1:58:36 PM  
I hate to say this, but in the immortal words of Eric Cartman:

"It's a load of tree-hugging, hippie crap"

I just don't buy this. Maybe they should try using pastel colors because they're gentler... *sheesh*

/totally lame
2004-08-23 2:19:05 PM  
The Goth kids will be pleased.
2004-08-23 2:25:14 PM  
I'm sticking with red. Redder the better.
2004-08-23 2:34:19 PM  
Am I the only one who mentally inserted an extra "i" into the word "pens" when reading that headline?
2004-08-23 5:17:14 PM  
Yeah its harsh. So is life. Welcome to it.
2004-08-23 5:49:15 PM  
I can still remember my 3rd grade teacher telling me to
"Quit fagging it up and stop crying" when I got a poor grade.

If he read that article his brain would asplode.

God, I still hate that man.
2004-08-23 6:22:40 PM  
in 20 years.. the US will be invaded by mean people. not people with guns, not large munition weapons.. just mean people.
because parents are raising a bunch of sissies.

i'm only 29, but i got my feelings hurt in school, got isolated at times, had friends, lost friends.. in and out of the cool circles.. and i ended up fine. so did my folks who had it worse than i.

thanks sissy America.. for developing a nation of pushovers and lawsuit-happy sissys.
2004-08-23 6:25:55 PM  
Gah! Enough with the educational fads, you nitwits!

Look, I love teachers. I do my best to support them but this kind of crap is what gives the teaching profession a bad name.

Education is supposed to be about preparing kids for their eventual entry into the adult world. Stop trying to shield kids from the realities of life. When you do that, you defeat the entire point.

If these kids can't handle of few red marks because the color is "too harsh", I guarantee you that they're going to have a hell of a time facing their first bad performance review. I can assure you that their boss won't try to soften the impact.

Furthermore, kids are a LOT more resilient than these people seem to appreciate. Kids can survive some truly horrific shiat. Getting a bad grade or losing a softball game won't destroy your average child, unless you've already coddled him to the point where he's incapable of coping with the least little setback.

Let kids learn how to deal with their failures and they will almost invariably rise to the challenge. Prevent them from ever experiencing the pain of failure and they will collapse like a house of cards the first time life goes against their expectations.
2004-08-23 6:30:34 PM  
I thought teachers weren't allowed to grade papers or make corrections anyway, because that could make the students feel bad. Besides, correcting someone's grammar is insensitive to their cultural differences.

In the future, all children will be given big "participation" trophies just for showing up for class every day. Oh, and those kids that don't bother to show up will also get these same trophies, so they don't feel left out.
2004-08-23 6:34:12 PM  
Adversity teaches, and we do our children no service by cushioning everything for them. By the way, red ink can hardly be called adversity.

The problem with using purple, aside from the fact that it's harder to read for a teacher counting up errors, is that in a few years purple will be seen to be as harsh a color as red is now. Why? Because it has nothing to do with the color, it has to do with the associations attached to it. Red ink is associated with making a mistake right now. Use purple ink, and all that will happen is that purple will become the new red. That, and all the teachers will go blind trying to count up purple marks.
2004-08-23 6:34:29 PM  
First , no physical contact durinf recess , and now this. What the Hell is this world coming too???

Red is too harsh. Pffffft
2004-08-23 6:35:11 PM  
Does no one read Pavlov anymore?
I mean, honestly.
WHy the hell do they think red looks so scary...

Because it's the color that's been used to draw attention to all their farking errors their entire schoolastic careers!!!

2004-08-23 6:35:34 PM  
Back when I was in school, the teacher used to mark out tests in BIG BOLD RED MARKS TELLING US WHAT IDIOTS WE WERE, AND WE LIKED IT!!!!
well, not really....
2004-08-23 6:36:28 PM  
I hate the world and it's horrible sheltering of our youth. No wonder kids are so damned whiny. I work in a middle school and the whole point of correcting papers and handing them back is to point out mistakes. If the kids are scared or intimidated by the red marks then maybe they should try not to recieve them in the first place. Damn stupid kids.
2004-08-23 6:36:43 PM  
I can still remember my 3rd grade teacher telling me to
"Quit fagging it up and stop crying" when I got a poor grade.

Wow, Huper, is that you? I thought I recognized that half-assed sentence structure. So how'd you turn out?

Are you a Grade A c-smoker queenie boy, or did my fine, fine instruction manage to descend your testicles despite your best efforts to fag it up? Me, I'm doing OK. Still stuck in the 3rd grade, trying to make men our of boys.

Take care,
2004-08-23 6:37:58 PM  
I can count to purple backwards !!!
2004-08-23 6:38:33 PM  
This is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard of.

Either that, or it's a brilliant move by the marketing department of pen manufacturing companies everywhere to move higher volumes of their "purple" product.
2004-08-23 6:38:40 PM  
I would find it much less harsh if they used white.
2004-08-23 6:39:21 PM  
anrwlias wins.
2004-08-23 6:39:26 PM  
obviously imagined by a public school grad.
2004-08-23 6:39:42 PM  
One more step in growing our population of PANSIES.

/thankful she grew up in the '80s, where red corrections were harsh and the fashion was worse
2004-08-23 6:41:01 PM  
the pussification is spreading
2004-08-23 6:41:10 PM  
In high school, we had an AP composition teacher who was scary and graded really harshly. In retrospect, probably a good thing, lol. Her name was Mary, but considering the state of the papers she handed back her class started caller her bloody Mary, prompting her to switch to green pens, heh. That lasted about a week, then she was back to good old red.

There really is a big difference when you mark a paper in red vs. other colors. And that's a good thing. Maybe if you hate seeing papers covered in red you'll learn from your mistakes and do better next time.
2004-08-23 6:41:39 PM  
I broke my arm at recess during third grade.....big deal. I presume that the school's insurance paid for my care, but that was the end of it. If that had happened now to some third grader, there would be lawsuits up the wazzou, and all of the jungle gym equipment would be gone.

Farking wussies....

/plus, my father is an attorney..
//wonders if the term "jungle gym" will offend someone...
2004-08-23 6:41:52 PM  
Goodbye America, you were so young.
2004-08-23 6:41:52 PM  
man people are reading this stupid. you all get a bunch of red marks.

Kids take criticism different ways. Some ignore it if it's too heavy handed. Same with red marks.

It's not about "hurting their feelings" it's about making sure they don't tune it out, when they should be looking at the mistake areas of their papers. The more mistakes, the more they need to be looking. If a simple change of color will do that, then great. If not, it hardly matters that they've switched colors.

The one totally stupid statement in the article:

Hanley said a growing contingent of her colleagues is using purple. They prefer it to green and yellow because it provides more contrast to the black or blue ink students are asked to write in.

How does PURPLE provide more contrast to BLACK AND BLUE than GREEN or YELLOW would? Just say, yellow doesn't show up, and green for a wrong answer would be stupid, everyone knows that.
2004-08-23 6:42:18 PM  
Way,way back when I went to school,the old spinster teachers I had used red ink by the 55 gallon drum. Consequently, I learned how to spell and write. We also played dodgeball, and had a slide AND monkeybars in the playground. God help the pussified kids who go through school now. The rest of the world will eat their lunch.
2004-08-23 6:42:19 PM  
I'd cue up stupid asses with no background in psychology or education claiming how they had it better and kids are pansies now, but eh, that's all ready happening.
2004-08-23 6:42:52 PM  
Personally, I've never cared to grade with red pens. They give me a headache. I use green. Contrasts just as well with the print; students rarely use that color (imagine grading with red on top of a student who uses red ink, ugh), and students can't complain about getting bloody looking papers back.

But this is insane. We're lucky that we can convince people to care about teaching enough to endure the daily crap thrown at them. Let them use any darn color ink they want.
2004-08-23 6:43:42 PM  
These people vote Democrat. Just reminding you....
2004-08-23 6:44:16 PM  
Americas future....scared of red pens.
2004-08-23 6:44:20 PM  
And so goes the further pussification of America...
2004-08-23 6:44:57 PM  
Oh. My. God. Did you see the mother, Victoria Nedoruban, who thinks that the red marks are just fine because they will show you what you did wrong. Maybe then you'll try harder to get things right. She even has the same last name as her kid, probably still married to his father. These sneaky foreigners, sneaking into the country with their conservative values, trying to take over our country. If we don't work hard to assimilate them into the panty-waists that we are they'll do it too.
2004-08-23 6:45:05 PM  

You're right. They do, like most other educated Americans.
2004-08-23 6:45:34 PM  
Educators, both teachers and administrators, have lost all touch with reality in the face of all this PC madness. We are raising a nation of whiny loosers who have no concept of the outside world and how harsh it can be. Red marks mean you made a mistake, and the teacher is pointing it out to you so you won't do it again. Intimidating? Give me a break. Intimidating is going to a job interview with five other equally qualified candidates and quite possibly being told "Don't call us..." Now what? Get Daddy to sue that mean old person that wouldn't play nice with you? God help us all in the very near future.
2004-08-23 6:45:47 PM  
there are a lot more worse things in life than red ink on a piece of paper. having it be purple doesnt make a kid any less wrong or in less need of correction. if it is really that traumatic (which it isnt) purple ink will get the same connotations (on paper) that red ink previously had and they will swtich back in a few years.
2004-08-23 6:46:28 PM  
Do they teach anything in school anymore?
2004-08-23 6:47:03 PM  

The Goth kids will be pleased.

Not really. Most goth kids get better grades, so they won't be seeing too much of it.

And when I first read the headline I read pens as pants, and I was trying to figure out how changing their pants would help.

2004-08-23 6:47:58 PM  
For those interested, here a couple of links about the state of education in the US, by John Taylor Gatto...

clicky 1
clicky 2
2004-08-23 6:48:16 PM  
With apologies to the hard working teachers out there, I will state that this is one reason I will be homeschooling my kids (when I have them). The real world is one of dog-eat-dog. Kids, here's a fact: everyone CAN NOT be a winner. And like my dad used to say, no one is going to knock on your door and hand you the world. You have to get out there and take it.

I am fortunate enough to be asked to give motivational talks to troubled and at risk kids, and I am happy to report that I have been able to make a difference in many kids lives.

2004-08-23 6:48:38 PM  
I would personally like to send these teachers one gross of red chisel-tipped permanent markers, or maybe just a 4" x 2" stamp that says "YOU MADE A MISTAKE"
2004-08-23 6:48:41 PM  
How about we compromise and write "see you on the short bus" in purple ink at the bottom of the tests?
2004-08-23 6:48:55 PM  
Northampton Massachusetts huh

Q. How many heterosexual women does it take to screw in a lightbulb in Northampton.

A. Both of them
2004-08-23 6:50:28 PM  
Does anybody remember when America wasn't filled with pussies?
Personally, I think we should use red marks. . .
Inked with the blood of problem students!
2004-08-23 6:50:41 PM  
"Purple calls attention to itself without being too aggressive. And because the color is linked to creativity and royalty, it is also more encouraging to students."

So remember, kids, go out and get those purple marks!

/Oprah, Barney surrender?
2004-08-23 6:50:51 PM  
Yes, you're a dumbass but in purple you're just a ... no wait ... you're still a dumbass. And wtf is a color psychologist, and maybe people with just a bit less red/purple in their past should be making the spending decisions on hiring these shysters.
2004-08-23 6:51:37 PM  
And when I first read the headline I read pens as pants, and I was trying to figure out how changing their pants would help.

Red pants can be just as intimidating as red ink you know. They are absolutely horrible. I have seizures whenever I see that much red in one place.
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