Just a thought and a question for those out there who promote students.
I wonder what your thoughts are on the subject of using an essay as a requirement for promotion. Many organization require this for higher ranks. Personally, I came from a school that required it for any testing. I have always used it for promotions to gokyu, sankyu, and dan rankings.
Then reasons I like it are that they allow the student to articulate something of themeselves that they may not be able to at a test. Believe it or not, some people express themselves better using the written word other than the verbal one.
Also, having saved them over the years, I can look back at the development of my students and really look into their mindset concerning the art as it pertains to them.
Now, I do not "grade" the essay, nor do I use it as a pass/fail section of their test. It is simply a requirement that they need in order to take the test. I would suggest those that do not use this to try it. You will find it most interesting. Maybe it is just the school teacher in me, but who knows.
In a rush now, but I would like to hear any/all opinions on the subject.
yours in budo,