The Mathematics Assessment Project (MAP) has created lesson plans for high school lessons in maths based around formative assessment. They make the following remark about marking students' work in this teacher guide for a lesson about substitution.

We suggest that you do not score students’ work. The research shows that this will be counter-productive, as it will encourage students to compare their scores and distract their attention from what they can do to improve their mathematics.`

I would like references to research that supports this claim.

  • $\begingroup$ See this question as well matheducators.stackexchange.com/questions/712/… $\endgroup$ Feb 18, 2020 at 21:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Students need feedback on whether or not their work is correct. Attaching a numerical score to it is a different issue. But having some kind of numerical score is IMO helpful for tracking progress and giving the student some idea of whether they're on track or not. $\endgroup$
    – user507
    Feb 19, 2020 at 1:43

1 Answer 1


Scoring too strictly might be counter-productive if the students are too young?

Not sure if this is what you're looking for but in Karen Elizabeth Kebles's paper "What's in an A? A Quantitative Study on the Grading Perceptions of Middle School and High School Math Teachers" If you skip down to page 114 to see the results of "What are middle school and high school math teachers’ perceptions of their grading practices in one mid-Atlantic state?" the middle school teachers seem to be more critical about grades for teaching than high school teachers.


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