Education Separation

What do you think?

I’ve long wished that my daughter’s school would divide children up by ability rather than by age, to something a bit more progressive in levels. She’s way ahead in math and reading comprehension, a teeny bit ahead in science, way ahead in reading comprehension, sadly a little behind in spelling, and on par with social studies. I think putting her among students with the same ability levels would be good for her.

Yesterday, a new study came out that says this sort of separation is actually damaging to students. I see the data, and yet I find it so hard to believe. Just like the studies that come out saying that girls don’t do better in same-sex environments. It goes contrary to how I viewed my own primary education, and to what I think would be best for my daughter.

Here’s the Guardian:

Thousands of UK primary schools are locking their pupils into a cycle of disadvantage by separating them into ability groups, a major international study has warned.

Beatriz Pont, an education analyst and one of the authors of the OECD’s study, said streaming by ability at an early age “fuelled a vicious cycle” in which teachers had low expectations of students in the lowest sets. These students were often “locked into a lower educational environment before they had a chance to develop … their potential,” she said.

I would have thought underperforming children would have benefited from an approach where they weren’t lost and confused and overwhelmed.

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3 Responses to “Education Separation”

  1. I agree with you, and the cynic in me wonders if the problem with the lower achievers isn’t more to do with what resources are allocated. Also I wouldn’t mind betting that the better teachers tend to be assigned to the ‘better’ pupils.

  2. That was my same thought, that the theory behind it is sound, but the application is where the trouble is at.

  3. Islam…

    […]Education Separation « Sprinklings of Alice[…]…

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