• Stuff like that drives me nuts.
  • One of my teachers in college refused to grade in red ink for the exact same reason.
  • A lot of students dont even care what the teacher puts nevermind what colour it's in! and personally....i think the colour can't have that strong an effect, maybe it's what's written that effects their self esteem.
  • I think they should be graded in red. It draws attention and if it wounds the conscience of the student than perhaps they will try harder not to make so many mistakes. At my school I wasn't as the teacher allowed to put "x" marks on the papers but just put the correct answer next to the wrong one. That is foolish.
  • Oh jeez louise, either I must be really old fashioned or this is a joke.... An "F" is still an F in blue ink or any ink. I am also not sure how the use of a red pen can affect someone's self esteem? A nasty comment about the assignment itself could be a hit to a kid's self esteem, but to go as far as to say that a pen color could do so... nah, I'd never buy into that.
  • I'm amazed that this question has to be asked. Red having a "negative" connotation is a cultural thing. In western culture red is a minus. If you're bookkeeping a red entry is a debit, if you're driving a red light means stop, Satan is portrayed as all red (with horns) and so on. Not everywhere in the world does red have a bad connotation (okay, red still means stop when you're driving anywhere). As to marking tests... get real people. The real world doesn't ask if you if it's going to hurt your feelings before it slaps you down. School shouldn't do it either. The purpose of school is to prepare young men and women for real life and not to coddle them. Some schools in Canada have even stopped giving marks because it becomes to "competitive". Well I hate to point this out here people, but the world is competitive and it's not going to be any less so by the time these kids graduate. When I mark my student's tests, I use red ink. Not only that, but I go over every mistake in class and we discuss them (I don't say who made which mistake). This is part of learning. If you're not there to learn then what's the point of school in the first place. Too many people think of school as a place to stash their kids for a few hours a day so they can get on with their own lives. It is more than that and can really help the kids forge their place in life but only if they stop with these inane "changes." Hope this helps.
    • Army Veteran
      I couldn't have said it better.
  • That's like saying you can't mark in black because it's depressing.
  • I don't care what colour it is so long as it contrasts with the ink the student used to write the paper. I don't think I suffered any long term psychological effects of having my work marked in red......
  • They don't look at the ink color, they only see how bad it sucked that they got it wrong. How to focus on reducing their error ratio is a better question.
  • They (the powers that be) have diluted so much in education compared to the quality of education and the road it was traveling in the 1970 -80's was a good slope. Now it has taken on a different turn, a negative nose dive. We have too many mamby pambies, weak UNEDUCATED, ....EDUCATED kids now. I say keep the damn red ink. It has an needed affect on correctness. Don't dilute that too.
  • I don't think it makes a difference. Like a lot of ideas in education, it is some concept created by simple-minded people. Wait a while--it will go away. I don't understand what difference the color of ink makes.
  • What difference does it make? As long as it gets the message across.
  • I hated that red ink on my test and homework papers!! I will never own a red pen:) I say, No more red ink for grading papers.
  • I most certainly do not. The purpose of using multicolored pens in the first place is to draw attention to something by making it stand out for easier identification. Red, blue, green; whatever you use, it makes no difference as long as it can be easily distinguished from the rest of the writing. If the paper were to be written in red ink, then another color would need to be used. If an instructor were to use only blue ink for grading, then the color blue would take on the same meaning as red for anyone else who uses red. In the military, I've found that many Chain of Commands use different color ink for different people in order to easily differentiate who made what marks. For example, on one submarine I was on, the Engineer used purple ink, the XO used red ink, and the CO used green ink. People would make their negative associations for each color accordingly and since the Captain's writings carried the most weight, many people intensly disliked getting green ink on their correspondence. At another command, the colors were different: Engineer green, XO blue, CO red. Again, red would end up being the most disliked color. The important thing is to realize WHY a different color is used. A teacher grades in a different color so that it's obvious to the student what grade they are getting and WHY they are getting it. This is so they will more easily see their mistakes and learn from them. If they don't like that, then in the immortal words of my ever-wise wife: "Get over it." Students are there to learn and should get with the program.
  • I do not. The whole point of a teacher is to teach, not baby them. You are teaching them, to fix their mistakes, show them, that they are incorrect, so that they can find the correct information. Red ink is intended to get them to focus there attention to that area. It has no factor on their self esteem. If they learm from their mistakes, they would have higher self esteem.
  • I don't think it would be bad for the student's self-esteem (thinking of up to grade 12) if they followed through with assisting the child in learning from their mistakes by having them correct them or assisting them in figuring out a concept that they did not understand. The problem is when the answers are just left sitting there, doing nothing, accomplishing nothing except the teacher's ability to get his or her paycheck for grading the paper.
  • My teachers all graded with red pens and I didn't consider it a blow to my self-esteem...good lord
  • The next time you need to mark a paper with an F use one of these babies: .
  • Why not green ink or some less inflamatory color-like RED! red to me means: the teacher is mad/mean etc and wow! we're in trouble now..we can see green or purple etc ink just as well.
  • A student's self esteem should be the last thing on a teacher's mind. They are there to teach not pamper. Red ink is good for the memory, it "burns" the image into the mind and helps the learner to remember. My teacher in the sixth grade used this method when memorizing poetry. She had us underline everything we were memorizing in red. I've never had anything help so much with memorizing lines. To this day I use that method. A child has to be corrected or they will never learn. So, no it is not wrong. If we continue to pamper our children and tell them it is okay to not get good grades and it is okay to not be the best because of their feelings then they will regret it as adults. The self esteem should be taken care of at home. The parents should be responsible for teaching the child to be confident not the teacher. They are there to teach 2+2 not raise children.
  • oh my g-d!!! self-esteem and red pens?? are you serious? next question i'm gonna be reading is that pencils look like a penis and are inappropriate..seriously we have to over analyze everything in this world??? if your self esteem is that fragile to be crushed by a red pen (with a sole purpose to correct) then you should be looking at your life and the issues in it not the color of the pen
  • Any marks, comments or annotations on students' work should be in a different colour so it's easily seen. It was policy at the first college I taught at to use violet ink when marking, commenting or giving feedback. Feedback was given in a "sandwich" (something positive, areas for improvement, something positive) because criticism has a greater impact than praise. It was, however, sometimes difficult to find the positives to be the bread in the sandwich...
  • Well, you do need a contrasting color, to make the comments and so forth stand out. I use green and purple, or I did before I had to start grading everything entirely online. They are perhaps a bit less "accusatory" and pejorative than red (think of "The Scarlet Letter"), but I want the students to pay attention.
  • No! Children that sensitive need professional counseling because there's something more going on there!! Children today have been so shielded from everything by their parents they don't know how to take anything in stride! Parents nowadays are crippling their children by protecting them from real life! What are these kids going to do when their parents die? Its just sad!

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