I’m thinking of signing up my younger son for karate. I interviewed a sensei recently. He’s a grey belt. I explained that I had never heard of a grey belt. The sensei explained that his sensei master believed in averaging. While he had achieved black belt, he had started at white belt, so his master awarded him a grey belt. The sensei said it is really affecting his dojo.
Okay, I made up the story above, but I love when Guskey, Stiggins, Marzano, the DuFours and others talk about grey belts. When learning, aren’t we supposed to start as novices and grow to great understanding? Why do we continue to penalize for that natural progression with start-to-finish averaging? Why don’t we award “black belts” more in school? What if we used “karate belts” instead of averages?