Monday, July 23, 2012

Heterogeneous Classrooms

     In our zeal for political correctness, we have hurt everyone (the children and, by extension, the adults they will become).  Children know in a heterogeneous classroom who is coasting and who is struggling.  We may pretend that by "mixing" all of the children into one class we are saving their feelings but, in reality, we are making it harder for all of them.  The children who learn faster are often bored and angry, sometimes being misdiagnosed with ADHD or behavioral problems.  The children who are struggling often feel like failures by daily comparison to their more advanced peers.  
     In "the olden days", when children were grouped by ability, there were leaders in all classes.  Children learned at a pace commensurate with their ability and felt successful.  How can we possibly consider what we have done to be progress?  Just look at our national statistics compared to students in other industrialized countries.  The United States is falling behind - and it isn't for lack of funds.  In my opinion, it is because we are setting all children up for failure. 

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