Red pens too agressive, teachers told.

Discussion in 'Offbeat News' started by Vidic15, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. Vidic15

    Vidic15 No Custom Title Exists V.I.P. Lifetime

    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".

  2. Xeilo

    Xeilo Registered Member V.I.P. Lifetime

    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.
  3. Vidic15

    Vidic15 No Custom Title Exists V.I.P. Lifetime

    I wonder what's next, black pens are considered racist?
    Oooh_snap likes this.
  4. Bliss

    Bliss Sally Twit

    People have been saying that for years. It went on when I was in school but it never went too far.
  5. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    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).

    News link
    When term papers get graded this school year, many students who turn in sloppy work won't be seeing red.

    An increasingly popular grading theory insists red ink is stressful and demoralizes students, while purple, the preferred color, has a more calming effect.
    "I never use red to grade papers because it stands out like, 'Oh, here's what you did wrong.' " said Melanie Irvine, a third-grade teacher at Pacific Rim Elementary in Carlsbad. "Purple is a more approachable color."

    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.

    The writing-instrument industry is a lucrative one, netting more than $4.5 billion in U.S. consumer spending a year, and the nation's major suppliers of pens have discovered many teachers like Irvine. Paper Mate stepped up production of purple pens by 10 percent this year in response to focus groups that alerted the company to the many teachers switching to purple.

    "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."

    Two years ago, almost no purple pens were stocked on the shelves of Staples stores. After teachers began demanding the color, however, the national office-supply company obliged. Staples went from adding purple pens to multipacks last year to now manufacturing packages of solely purple pens.

    "Teachers are a great customer for us, and we need to supply them what they need," said Staples spokeswoman Sharyn Frankel. "If they come to us and say, 'We need purple,' we get them purple." Although some educators are sticking to red for grading, the trend seems to be toward a less-judgmental shade.

    "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."

    Teachers traditionally wielded a red pen because it stood out on paper, and they had to use a different color than black or blue, the shade typically used by students.

    The idea that red induces stress, especially in younger children, has been around for years, said Lawrence Jones, a psychology teacher and former graphic-design instructor at The Art Institute of California San Diego.

    "You associate red with blood, stop and danger," he said. "Teachers, realizing the immense problems they face with kids in education, find avoiding red helps them avoid one more negative in a child's life."

    Daniel Ochoa, a color theory teacher at the institute, said purple is associated with spirituality, royalty and elegance. Green is also soothing, he said, because it is the color of the forest and symbolic of refreshment.
    Lisa Parker, principal of Chula Vista Hills Elementary, said she has no policy on pen color, but definitely has a preference.

    "We never say to teachers, 'No red,' but to get a paper back with red marks all over it is not necessarily the best way to get kids to be comfortable with their writing," she said.

    Yet tradition is hard to break.

    Gloria Ciriza, a fifth-grade teacher at Pomerado Elementary in Poway, corrected papers in red when she began teaching 11 years ago because it was familiar to her. Now, she doesn't necessarily favor purple, but she prefers a softer color.

    "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."

    Not all educators, however, are surrendering their apple-red pens.

    Some argue that American culture is one of extremes. They say the same students who receive color-sensitive grades leave school and play gory video games. And some attribute the dwindling number of red pens in the classroom to self-esteem sensitivity run amok. Skeptics discount fears of the shade and wonder whether all the attention to the color of a grade has any substantive effect.

    Sheldon Brown, a visual arts professor at the University of California San Diego and director of the school's Center for Research in Computing and the Arts, said the negative reaction to grading in red is culturally embedded – a reaction more ingrained in the teachers than the students.

    "Teachers may start out using purple, a color that they seem to think has less negative connotations, but in time, after kids have gone through 12 years of purple check marks, they're going to think purple is an awful color," Brown said.

    Many educators say the choice of pen color is only the tip of making the grading experience a positive one for kids. Some argue that the science of grading is so much more than a check mark on a piece of paper.

    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. Stephen Ahle, the principal at Pacific Rim Elementary, said grading is much more sophisticated than it used to be. Every aspect of grading – from the language used to the teacher's tone and the color of ink used to make corrections – leaves a psychological imprint on students, he said. "I tell teachers to use more neutral colors – blues and greens, and lavender because it's a calming color," he said. "And, of course, kids also like purple because it's the color of Barney." :lol:

    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.
  6. viLky

    viLky ykLiv

    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?
  7. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    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. :stare:
  8. Wade8813

    Wade8813 Registered Member

    That explains why everyone loves Ysabel so much - all the purple.

    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 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.
    That's true. Of course, there are probably about as many slightly older kids who hate Barney with a vengeance :lol:
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  9. Nixola

    Nixola Boom Boom Pow!

    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
  10. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    "Awww the poor itty bitty childrens and their sad little feelings"

    I'm sick of this coddling bullshit. 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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