The Instigator
Physicist
Pro (for)
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The Contender
ponycordero
Con (against)
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Students should Learn on their level, oppose to age

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/3/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 582 times Debate No: 39898
Debate Rounds (3)
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Physicist

Pro

I argue that they indeed do need to learn on their levels. I say this because of the advanced students being forced to not learn what they should learn. If you oppose my thoughts, challenge me!
ponycordero

Con

Classes should be structured based on age. While it is true that some students are capable of comprehending complex concepts earlier than their peers, there are psychological consequences to exposing younger students to older classrooms. Having classrooms structured based on skill level assumes that younger students will be learning along side older students. The younger students will not be mentally prepared to be considered the peers of older students.

According to developmental psychologist Erik Erikson, humans go through 8 psychosocial stages of development throughout their lives[1]. Let's say that an 8 year old student is placed in the same class as a 15 year old student. The 8 year old is almost certainly experiencing the 4th level of psychosocial development known as "Industry vs Inferiority." The 8 year old will be more dependent on the approval of authority figures at this stage in order to evaluate their self worth. The 15 year old would be in the 5th stage of psychosocial development known as "Identity vs Confusion." The 15 year old would base their self worth on how they fit into the social scheme of their lives and on their own personal exploration of their selves. The conflicting needs of children and adolescents in different stages of psychological development would cause a disparity in their interaction that would affect their ability to learn and function as students. The 8 year old would almost certainly look to the 15 year old for guidance instead of the teacher. If a 4th level student is confusing a 5th level peer as their authority figure and instructor, then the 4th level student (the eight year old in this case) is not gaining the purposed benefit of this interaction and in fact may become developmentally crippled from this ill-conceived social experiment.

The problem is not that students of different stages of psychological development can't interact with each other, but rather that the nature of the premise of their interaction is important. In the current grade by age structure of education, older students are seen as mentors and role models because their age and life experience is greater than their younger counterparts. To place younger and older students on the same level as "peers" would have severe consequences on a child's development as a person. Just because a student's mental and academic capacity warrants more advanced study does not mean that they are advanced enough emotionally and psychologically to handle being treated as "older" than they are. Obviously there would be exceptions to the rule, but that does not mean that the exception should be the rule.

[1] http://psychology.about.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Physicist

Pro

Physicist forfeited this round.
ponycordero

Con

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Debate Round No. 2
Physicist

Pro

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ponycordero

Con

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Debate Round No. 3
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