Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Jennifer Putnam


Much has been written in the grading literature regarding the continued use of traditional teacher grading practices that impede effective teaching and learning, yet teachers continue to assign grades using a mixture of factors. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore secondary teacher perceptions of their grading practices, the evolution of their grading behaviors, and the alignment of these grading practices with equitable grading principles. Using a teacher decision-making theoretical framework and a conceptual framework focused on pillars of grading equity, this study sought to investigate how teachers perceive their grading practices and how they develop their grading behaviors and to examine how these practices may impact the ability of students to demonstrate their learning. The study was conducted in a large South Carolina school district with certified ninth- through 12th-grade teachers using quantitative survey data and individual interviews. An analysis of study results revealed that grading variability continues to exist among teachers, they typically develop their grading behaviors in the absence of evidence-based training, and many of their inequitable grading behaviors may be placing students at academic risk. The impact of these findings and recommendations for achieving a vision of equitable grading are shared.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License