The Teacher’s Grade as an Act and the Student as a Subject Janez Krek
Summary: In the present theoretical paper, based on the philosophy of education, we discuss the construct of the formative monitoring and evaluation of knowledge. In this regard, we answer the question as to why, in addition to the reflection on knowledge provided by formative assessment of students, the grading of knowledge and a grade are necessary as an act of the teacher. Grading of knowledge by the teacher is necessary because there needs to be an act of evaluation of knowledge for which responsibility lies not with the student, but with the teacher as another person. The act is an action in which an agent in the symbolic field becomes a subject precisely through separation from its own product, which is interpreted by the Other. It is only in the form of the grade that this holds for both the student and the teacher. Unlike formative assessment of knowledge, the grade introduces a fracture at which the (student’s) demonstration of knowledge and the (teacher’s) evaluation of knowledge become an interdependent Act, an objectified mediation between student and teacher. Only this allows the student to establish him/herself in the subject of knowledge and as such be reflected in relation to the Other. The grading of knowledge by teachers and grades are thus among the foundations of the ethics of school that works inclusively and encourages students by enabling the establishment of appropriately high expectations with regard to knowledge and by supporting their development into autonomous personalities.