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Birth month and success in school

dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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4/2/2013 4:13:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It's been shown that kids born in months of the year which result in them being older in their grade level do better academically throughout their entire school year than those born in months which result in them being younger in their grade level. At first the advantage rests in the sheer difference in age, but as the student grows older, this small advantage grows. This effect is known as the the "Matthew Effect," or "Accumulative advantage." For instance, the intellectual difference between a five and a six-year-old is great, but this difference is diminished at ages fifteen and sixteen (the ratio difference is smaller). This initial difference is very significant, because learning is a snowball effect. This arbitrary nonsense of age has to be put to an end. A child's intellectual ability and or maturity should be the factors for class placement, not arbitrary age.
Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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4/3/2013 12:30:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
There's a disconnect between the arguments and conclusion, nevertheless I digress. Let me step off the proverbial fence for a moment... (sidenote: I'm undecided on this issue in actuality)

"A child's intellectual ability and or maturity should be the factors for class placement, not arbitrary age." - dylancatlow

This is a nice sounding statement. But who is to say that intellectual ability or maturity ought to be the factors for class age? On what grounds? What if intellectual ability conflicts with maturity? There's a whole host of problems.

For instance, you are presuming a general intelligence vs. a modular model of the mind. I'm not going to go into cognitive science and intelligence theories here, but you're presumption is lacking in a number of ways, and there is a degree to which modularity of the mind applies. So, some students may be in X level maths class, Y level english class and Z level science class - 3 different years of ability, to take a somewhat extreme example. Do you have any idea how a school timetable operates? It might differ in America, but I can assure you your model creates innumerable logistical problems. My school is at full capacity with regard to rooms, and your system would... put the school in an administrative mess; the school could not function. Also, many, many announcements for students and extracurricular competitions are age based. Eliminating age as a way to delegate announcements or organise certain things is an extremely serious logistical point.

Modularity of the mind presents very serious logistical challenges, yet it also creates significant challenges in a more social dimension. It's somewhat arrogant to just presume the purpose of school is purely intellectual. Educational philosophy has a great deal to say about this subject, and the inability to properly quantify benefits in other areas must be accounted for in accurate analysis. Social cohesion is crucial, and can assist in intellectual areas (forming a debating or mock trial team) among other things. Furthermore, what of the other (admittedly often poorly run) areas of education? How do we determine a PDHPE (Physical Development and Health Physical Education) class, which comprises of health theory and practical classes under one subject? Purely intellectual merit will result in many junior students being severely out of place in practical components.

There's also utilitarian considerations. What if age creates a common understanding, that if destroyed results in an overall worse cohort outcome?

I would once have agreed wholeheartedly with the statement offered, and it's merits are clear. However, the above listed (among many other reasons) points now make me 'sit on the fence' .

Care to debate the topic?
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
Oryus
Posts: 8,280
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4/3/2013 2:05:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'd probably buy it.

Kids born at the beginning of the year have higher success rates in sports like hockey and soccer... where tryouts are usually around the same time in the year.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
: : :Tulle: The fool, I purposely don't engage with you because you don't have proper command of the English language.
: :
: : The Fool: It's my English writing. Either way It's okay have a larger vocabulary then you, and a better grasp of language, and you're a woman.
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: I'm just going to leave this precious struggle nugget right here.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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4/3/2013 9:23:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/3/2013 12:30:11 AM, Logic_on_rails wrote:
There's a disconnect between the arguments and conclusion, nevertheless I digress. Let me step off the proverbial fence for a moment... (sidenote: I'm undecided on this issue in actuality)

"A child's intellectual ability and or maturity should be the factors for class placement, not arbitrary age." - dylancatlow

This is a nice sounding statement. But who is to say that intellectual ability or maturity ought to be the factors for class age? On what grounds? What if intellectual ability conflicts with maturity? There's a whole host of problems.

For instance, you are presuming a general intelligence vs. a modular model of the mind. I'm not going to go into cognitive science and intelligence theories here, but you're presumption is lacking in a number of ways, and there is a degree to which modularity of the mind applies. So, some students may be in X level maths class, Y level english class and Z level science class - 3 different years of ability, to take a somewhat extreme example. Do you have any idea how a school timetable operates? It might differ in America, but I can assure you your model creates innumerable logistical problems. My school is at full capacity with regard to rooms, and your system would... put the school in an administrative mess; the school could not function. Also, many, many announcements for students and extracurricular competitions are age based. Eliminating age as a way to delegate announcements or organise certain things is an extremely serious logistical point.

Modularity of the mind presents very serious logistical challenges, yet it also creates significant challenges in a more social dimension. It's somewhat arrogant to just presume the purpose of school is purely intellectual. Educational philosophy has a great deal to say about this subject, and the inability to properly quantify benefits in other areas must be accounted for in accurate analysis. Social cohesion is crucial, and can assist in intellectual areas (forming a debating or mock trial team) among other things. Furthermore, what of the other (admittedly often poorly run) areas of education? How do we determine a PDHPE (Physical Development and Health Physical Education) class, which comprises of health theory and practical classes under one subject? Purely intellectual merit will result in many junior students being severely out of place in practical components.

There's also utilitarian considerations. What if age creates a common understanding, that if destroyed results in an overall worse cohort outcome?

I would once have agreed wholeheartedly with the statement offered, and it's merits are clear. However, the above listed (among many other reasons) points now make me 'sit on the fence' .

Care to debate the topic?

Sure, I'll debate it. What would the resolution be?
Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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4/3/2013 4:41:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/3/2013 9:23:26 AM, dylancatlow wrote:

Sure, I'll debate it. What would the resolution be?

You'd probably have to state the entire resolution at the start of the first round:

On balance, class organisation should be determined by a intellectual ability and maturity, not arbitrary age.

Something like that, it can be worked on. I'd say a 4 round debate with the first round for definitions, acceptance and perhaps a model outline, then 3 rounds of debating. Shared BOP ('on balance' ) . The debate would likely have you as instigator, otherwise I'm con as instigator, which is messy.

We can sort the details and specifics out via PM, but that's a start. Plus, another educational policy debate can't hurt on this website... there's not enough!
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it