The 6-minus mentality in Dutch education


Today I will present a short introduction on the so-called 6-minus mentality (‘zesjescultuur’) in Dutch education. My audience will consist of highschool teachers from Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands. They are taking part in an international project on talent development. I am not familiar with the Belgian or Swedish educational system. The Dutch Wikipedia says that Swedish teachers give no marks at all, because marking would make students unnecessarily nervous. So I will address my audience as if I were a cultural antropologist addressing foreigners coming from Mars. Then, first it’s important to note that Dutch teachers use a ten-point scale: 10 represents the highest mark, 1 the lowest, 5 is a fail, 6 is just enough to pass an exam. I will explain why Dutch students are not eager to get high marks; and why it is not easy at all for Dutch students to get high marks.
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