I am a student in Year 7 who struggles to keep up with the rest of my class.
If students are grouped by academic ability I would probably learn much more, but I would be behind the rest of my age group my whole life. If students are grouped by academic ability I would probably be the oldest in my group, making me feel embarrassed. I would also be separated from my friends of the same age.
Please help me by answering this question.
As a high school junior who has been recognized as "gifted" since first grade, I believe that students should be grouped by ability rather than age. I know from experience that when the course material isn't challenging, a student flies through the class with minimal effort and quickly becomes bored, requiring more rigorous and challenging instruction to continue striving toward their potential. The student may be asked to read quietly until everyone catches up or help tutor his slower peers, which can sometimes feel like a nice reward, but it doesn't help him to continue learning and improving.
We can see the effectiveness of ability grouping in high school and college sports. Highly skilled players are placed on varsity teams, rather than being held in junior varsity to wait for everyone to improve.
Additionally, students have been shown to perform better when working alongside peers of similar ability than peers of mixed ability. A study done by Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas, and Michael Kremer showed that "tracking" students by ability benefited high-achieving students through direct peer effects and lower-achieving students by allowing teachers to modify their lessons to teach to their level, especially if the teachers have incentive to teach at the top.
Duflo, Esther, Ph.D., Pascaline Dupas, Ph.D., and Michael Kremer, Ph.D. Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya. DSpace@MIT:. American Economic Association, Aug. 2011. Web. 26 Mar. 2016.
The fact of the matter is that in nearly every school there will be vastly different academic abilities amongst students. There will always the high level students who are craving to go farther but they will be held back by the people with out the abilities or alternately, the motivation to go any further. Another problem dredged up by this debate is if struggling students are given a curriculum that is much too difficult for them whilst other students are advancing rapidly through. Everyone is different and learns differently so thus the need different groupings in schools.
There is no such thing as a "typical kid". Because of this, education should be more individualized than it is today. People get along best with those of their intellectual level, not necessarily their age level. As a teen with a higher IQ, I can totally relate to it.
Schools should be a place to find and practice one's own innate potentials. By treating all students with the same "standards", schools basically treat us like products on an assembly line, all the same. This does not fit well with human nature, as everyone is different. People must embrace their differences instead of just fighting them off.
Sometimes kids get bored from doing stuff that is too easy.
Although I am indecisive at this statement, the majority of my arguments are towards grouping children due to academic ability results in positive outcomes. For any person to develop as a student, they must be surrounded by a challenging environment. This way, the student is able to LEARN, which is the primary focus of attending school.
Although children may feel embarrassed about being in a lower group, the emotions created may behave as an incentive to perform at a higher level or be in this "higher academic ability" group. Also, the children will feel more comfortable in class being surrounded by those of similar academic ability. This prevents the feeling of being intimidated in front of their peers. For e.G., when the student asks a question in front of the class.
Through that one test, the scores that they receive therefore directly translates to how smart they are. However, there are many things that determine whether or not the student can perform to his or her best abilities while sitting in the exam hall attempting the exam paper. If a student does not score and comes out being only mediocre, he is deemed as a medium ability student , but he could have just been playful and under prepared. In contrast, you would expect a student with an almost perfect or even perfect score to be extremely bright, but he could have peeked over the shoulders of his friend in front of him and looked at his answers.
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