Friday, April 17, 2009

Advance a Child When Ready

More and more, studies are showing that a simple innovation in our education system produces vast improvements to students’ abilities to learn. It recognizes that most students learn different subjects at varying rates. It notes that students should not be stigmatized by failing a class. Yet they will move from their home rooms to each subject according to their abilities.
This would be done by offering all basic courses at the same time. A student should not be passed to that course’s next level until the student successfully completes the level the student currently attends. If a student excels, that student may be advanced at an accelerated rate to a higher level. Instead of keeping students in the same grade and promoting them or failing them in all grade levels according to their overall performance, let them proceed in each course level at their appropriate level of educational attainment
Under this plan, all students would be kept in home room according to age. Students would go to the grade level in each course that is appropriate to them. Some students learn subjects at different rates, and may even learn one subject more rapidly while being delayed in learning another subject. Thus, for instance, a 5th grade student could be in 5th grade homeroom while attending 5th grade English, 4th grade Math, and 6th grade Science.
This has the benefits of minimizing stigmatizing students for not being in their proper grade level, at least in home room. It avoids the problems of failing or promoting a student in all subjects, which is what many schools do: i.e. a student who fails 5th grade repeats all courses in 5th grade subjects the following year.
Schools that do this have found this solves several learning problems. I would urge School Directors and school officials in schools that do not do this to consider changing their systems. The students will benefit.


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