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(USA Today)   More teachers are grouping children. I said, GROUPING   (usatoday.com) divider line 21
    More: Interesting, No Child Left Behind, National Assessment of Educational Progress  
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4594 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Mar 2013 at 7:04 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-19 01:38:02 AM  
5 votes:
It's a great idea.  Kids don't all learn at the same pace, and trying to do a 'one size fits all' approach only leads to the slower learners feeling inadequate and the faster learners becoming bored.

Separate the kids by ability, watch individual progress to move them up and down as necessary, and let the brightest kids excel while providing the ones who need more help with lessons designed to bring them up to speed and at least the basic standards.  Everyone wins.
2013-03-19 07:33:38 AM  
3 votes:

maggoo: TuteTibiImperes: It's a great idea.  Kids don't all learn at the same pace, and trying to do a 'one size fits all' approach only leads to the slower learners feeling inadequate and the faster learners becoming bored.

Separate the kids by ability, watch individual progress to move them up and down as necessary, and let the brightest kids excel while providing the ones who need more help with lessons designed to bring them up to speed and at least the basic standards.  Everyone wins.

That would be great in theory.

Yet, in the real world we have stuff such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmalion_effect

This means that if you divide a class into groups where one is expected to succeed while the others aren't, then you are sentencing the kids in the loser group to become losers themselves.

And all this because the teacher bet that a group of kids would succeed.


"Success" is completely arbitrary. Some kids will always be smarter, no matter what race or gender. Some won't. But grouping allows a teacher to give kids more individualized lesson plans and work with his or her ability better. There's nothing wrong with it. The problem is when we apply stupid test standards across an entire nation and then don't give the teachers or students the tools they need to achieve those standards. Some schools get more because they live in an area where people pay more taxes than others...THAT is what is creating a subclass of children- not "grouping". Take any bright student, put them in poverty and a school without money- they would do poorly, too.
2013-03-19 07:16:33 AM  
3 votes:

TuteTibiImperes: It's a great idea. Kids don't all learn at the same pace, and trying to do a 'one size fits all' approach only leads to the slower learners feeling inadequate and the faster learners becoming bored.


Yup. It's a shame schools don't make more room for kids to learn at an individual level. Some kids are great at reading and suck at math. Or excel at math and can't string two sentences together. Putting a bunch of kids together to learn because they happened to have popped out of a vagina at roughly the same time and expecting them to learn at the same pace is just pants on head retarded.
2013-03-19 10:46:36 AM  
2 votes:

maggoo: Read about the pygmalion effect.  No matter how smart or dumb a kid is, people have a propencity to achieve according to the expectations placed on them.  If a teacher divides his students into groups according to his personal perception of what "smart" is supposed to be then he is dooming the less smart kids to be the losers and underachievers.


The Pygmalion Effect refers to expectations, which is how those groups are formed, rather than clustering via ability on skills, which allows numerous interventions. There is no disagreement on the reduced quality of resources, staff, facilities, planning, etc., for students relegated to lower ability groups as well as minimal dynamic grouping either by failure to reassess by the instructor or lack of opportunities to shift from track/group/cluster/cohort/whathaveyou and how those maintain class after class into cycles of low achievement, motivation, and self-efficacy, nor is there disagreement on how radically expectations are able to affect outcomes. What has happened is this intense focus on the bottom 25% requiring teachers to provide near meaningless interventions by being stifled with paperwork and procedural pointlessness within an environment which has never been designed for dynamic clustering and intervention.

Versus the socio-emotional and academic outcomes observed in this ill-designed environment, the academy style of excellence for all in a heterogeneous group shows far greater promise simply due to the influence of expectations on outcomes as you note.

Dancin_In_Anson: But then someone felt that it wasn't faaaaaair that some kids learned more than others.


Except the type of tracking observed is not about the ability to learn but socioeconomic status and family culture of education. Programs for gifted have received the lowest priority of any group, including the general population, since the 1950s. We are not separating groups based on potential but on current achievement and convey expectations from this onto potential. What happens is 50%+ of the gifted population is believed to be underachievers, and 60% of those underachievers are believed to be at-risk ("believed to be" because numbers for gifted are notoriously difficult to come by without a cohesive need for identification, identification criteria, data gathering, etc., which do exist for ESE, ELL, and SES students).
2013-03-19 09:36:30 AM  
2 votes:
maggoo:
This is a braindead idea even when dealing with groups of fully grown adults.  Once a teacher starts playing favorites, the students will invariably perform according to the expectations placed on them.

In my experience students were grouped by academic performance in exams. There are good reasons for it - the spectrum of academic aptitude is huge and creates major hurdles to teaching if it isn't addressed. Nobody benefits if you're trying to teach a class second order differential equations while the bottom quarter of the class can't manage basic trig.

That said - there are issues with it. Due to the faster pace of higher sets it rapidly becomes very difficult for kids in lower sets to catch up if they bloom late and even if they do it can be difficult to move them up if te upper set class is already full, which is why it shouldn't be done too early.
2013-03-19 09:14:03 AM  
2 votes:
Ugh.  This comes about 20 years too late.  When I was in school, everything seemed to be following the "peer effects" theory, in which smart kids "bring up" the less intelligent kids.  That means that I always got put into groups with a couple of kids who couldn't do math, couldn't read, or both.  9 times out of 10, I just did all the work myself because I lost patience with them.  Was anybody made better off?  No.

Now, if the smart kids bad been put together, they could have been assigned more challenging material, worked together, and gained valuable education.  The less intelligent kids could have been put together where they can get through the material in which they're all struggling.  The pace wouldn't have seemed slow or boring to them, but challenging.  Once they complete their learning tasks, they are better off for it.

I'm glad to see this happening.  I get so tired of the mentality of "let's hold gifted students back because there are still struggling students."  It really hurts society when we do that.  Yes, your feelings may be hurt when you realize that now all children are equally intelligent in school -- get over it.
2013-03-19 08:13:40 AM  
2 votes:

maggoo: TuteTibiImperes: It's a great idea.  Kids don't all learn at the same pace, and trying to do a 'one size fits all' approach only leads to the slower learners feeling inadequate and the faster learners becoming bored.

Separate the kids by ability, watch individual progress to move them up and down as necessary, and let the brightest kids excel while providing the ones who need more help with lessons designed to bring them up to speed and at least the basic standards.  Everyone wins.

That would be great in theory.

Yet, in the real world we have stuff such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmalion_effect

This means that if you divide a class into groups where one is expected to succeed while the others aren't, then you are sentencing the kids in the loser group to become losers themselves.

And all this because the teacher bet that a group of kids would succeed.


Yet not grouping on ability is detrimental to the better students. The people who perform badly are pulled along by the high achievers while the high achievers are pulled down by the low achievers. Now you need to decide who has more right to reach his or her full potential.
2013-03-19 07:34:49 AM  
2 votes:

maggoo: This means that if you divide a class into groups where one is expected to succeed while the others aren't, then you are sentencing the kids in the loser group to become losers themselves.

And all this because the teacher bet that a group of kids would succeed.


They are really grouping them by their parents. Unfortunately, loser parents breed loser kids. Teachers can try to help by grouping kids so that the higher-needs groups can get more attention while the faster-moving groups need less attention, but it is hard to counteract the affect on kids of stupid, uninvolved, proud-to-be-ignorant parents.

The problem is parents. It isn't teachers and it isn't schools. It is parents.
2013-03-19 07:20:27 AM  
2 votes:

TuteTibiImperes: It's a great idea.  Kids don't all learn at the same pace, and trying to do a 'one size fits all' approach only leads to the slower learners feeling inadequate and the faster learners becoming bored.

Separate the kids by ability, watch individual progress to move them up and down as necessary, and let the brightest kids excel while providing the ones who need more help with lessons designed to bring them up to speed and at least the basic standards.  Everyone wins.


That would be great in theory.

Yet, in the real world we have stuff such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmalion_effect

This means that if you divide a class into groups where one is expected to succeed while the others aren't, then you are sentencing the kids in the loser group to become losers themselves.

And all this because the teacher bet that a group of kids would succeed.
2013-03-19 07:19:50 AM  
2 votes:
It would be interesting to see--for schools with a mixture of ethnicities, races, religions, and income brackets--if the individual groups exhibit a diversity reflective of the school at large. Just out of curiosity.
2013-03-19 02:50:41 PM  
1 votes:
My teachers really didn't do this at an early age. I had to do it myself once I hit middle/high school by taking GSP, dual enrollment, and AP classes. Even "honors" classes were full of cut-up, class disrupting, test cheating. homework copying individuals. Some of them were my friends (through other activities like sports or whatever) that I had no problem with hanging out with during non-school hours, but damn it I just wanted to go to class, hear the teacher give their spiel, get my requirements, and go home. The class disruptions just made the day drag on.
2013-03-19 01:16:42 PM  
1 votes:
dave_dfwm:

I'm glad to see this happening.  I get so tired of the mentality of "let's hold gifted students back because there are still struggling students."  It really hurts society when we do that.  Yes, your feelings may be hurt when you realize that now all children are equally intelligent in school -- get over it.

This.
2013-03-19 01:14:38 PM  
1 votes:

maggoo: TuteTibiImperes: It's a great idea.  Kids don't all learn at the same pace, and trying to do a 'one size fits all' approach only leads to the slower learners feeling inadequate and the faster learners becoming bored.

Separate the kids by ability, watch individual progress to move them up and down as necessary, and let the brightest kids excel while providing the ones who need more help with lessons designed to bring them up to speed and at least the basic standards.  Everyone wins.

That would be great in theory.

Yet, in the real world we have stuff such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmalion_effect

This means that if you divide a class into groups where one is expected to succeed while the others aren't, then you are sentencing the kids in the loser group to become losers themselves.

And all this because the teacher bet that a group of kids would succeed.


Grouping older children is one thing; grouping young kids (e.g., kindergarteners and first graders) is another. With all the red-shirting that's going on, we have kids in a single class separated in age by nearly two years.  Those older kids are more advanced because they're older and they get put into the "advanced" groups.  They may not be necessarily smarter, though, and it puts the younger students at a relative disadvantage.

\our daughter's kindergarten class had more 6 year olds in it at the start of the school year than 5 year olds
\\there were even three 4 year olds in the class (due to California's weird birthday cut-off)
\\\ 4 year olds shouldn't be in the same class as 6 year olds.
2013-03-19 12:30:55 PM  
1 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: And by doing so ghettoify the schools. Bright students cluster together. Challenged students get shunted into a corner. The advantaged get more advantages and the most in need of help get forgotten.

This is the kind of thing that Brown was supposed to solve. It's sad to see the teachers on the ground taking it upon themselves to impose segregation on their own.


Quite the opposite. I barely saw my actual teachers from 3-5th grade, they were dealing with the majority of the class who was below grade level on the subject matter. I was always with one or two other advanced students with an ed assistant for math or whatever or just reading in the library.

Of course i got the shiat kicked out of me on a regular basis because of that, "Why do we have to sit in our reading groups while Cyno and Tad get to play on the computers?!", especially didnt help that i was one of the only white kids too...
2013-03-19 11:05:44 AM  
1 votes:
I suffered through those "homogenous classrooms". They sucked. The ones behind drug everyone down and gave up. The ones ahead got bored and goofed off, distracting everyone else.

This touchy-feely everyone is the same classroom no child left behind crap is ruining our education system.

When a group of an eighth-grade class is trying to label adverbs and another group is diagramming sentences you have a problem.
2013-03-19 09:11:43 AM  
1 votes:

tiamet4: I think this is a great idea in theory, but it takes savy teachers and administrators to use it effectively.  Ideally you're working with groups of students to optimize the relative abilities of each but in reality you often end up with students who are considered "better" and treated better than others.

My brother and I had this issue in school.  Our school grouped students in middle school based on their test scores.  My brother and I are both very intelligent and ended up with similar SAT scores and will both soon hold doctorates.  However, my brother did not score as highly as I did in elementary.  I was promoted to the "A" class.  He ended up in one of the lower classes.  The difference between the two was night and day (literally, my classrooms even seemed to have more natural sunlight).  My brother's classes were where they stuck any kid who was not high achieving (which also meant the troubled or difficult kids) and the teachers and lesson plans were not nearly as good.  However, once you were placed in one class or another it was very difficult to get out of the lower classes, no matter how much you achieved.  My parents lobbied for over a year but without doing that he would have been relegated to the education ghetto of the school.


Sounds like a recipe for high suicide rates if adopted through all the schools through out the land.  You know, like how Japan got its stellar suicide rate.

I recall teachers (when I was a student) trying a different grouping plan, that made more sense.  It was small groups of five that didn't separate you by ability, instead grouped quicker kids with slower kids.  Instead of the teacher worker harder to get the slower kids up to speed, they utilized the quicker bored kids to help the slower kids.  Which would be teaching the quicker kids a lesson in the process.  Also, done by other methods known as tutoring programs.
2013-03-19 08:27:59 AM  
1 votes:
In education, fads come and go.  I've seen it all.

Standardized test
Zero Tolerance
Streaming
Open-Plan..

Old news is so exciting...
2013-03-19 08:16:49 AM  
1 votes:
I think this is a great idea in theory, but it takes savy teachers and administrators to use it effectively.  Ideally you're working with groups of students to optimize the relative abilities of each but in reality you often end up with students who are considered "better" and treated better than others.

My brother and I had this issue in school.  Our school grouped students in middle school based on their test scores.  My brother and I are both very intelligent and ended up with similar SAT scores and will both soon hold doctorates.  However, my brother did not score as highly as I did in elementary.  I was promoted to the "A" class.  He ended up in one of the lower classes.  The difference between the two was night and day (literally, my classrooms even seemed to have more natural sunlight).  My brother's classes were where they stuck any kid who was not high achieving (which also meant the troubled or difficult kids) and the teachers and lesson plans were not nearly as good.  However, once you were placed in one class or another it was very difficult to get out of the lower classes, no matter how much you achieved.  My parents lobbied for over a year but without doing that he would have been relegated to the education ghetto of the school.
2013-03-19 08:05:36 AM  
1 votes:

maggoo: The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: I definitely get this for high school, but I'm not so sure elementary school is a good place to start, particularly as a lot of kids bloom a little late and once you are in a set/tier it is often extremely difficult to move out of it even if you are doing very well.

This is a braindead idea even when dealing with groups of fully grown adults.  Once a teacher starts playing favorites, the students will invariably perform according to the expectations placed on them.

Moreover, the teacher himself will model his behavior according to the expectations he placed on each group of students.  Therefore, the group groomed for success will end up receiving more attention and effort on behalf of the teacher while the other group...  Well, they are supposed to be the losers. So, why even bother?


A bad teacher might give up on the slower group, but a skilled one will design and adapt lessons to the skill of the group as the year progresses to teach the kids as effectively as possible.  Yes, the kids in the accelerated group will likely move further than those in the remedial group, but that's the whole post - don't limit the potential success of the kids who are self motivated, naturally bright, or who have parents who help push them along just to appease the students without those benefits.
2013-03-19 07:50:11 AM  
1 votes:

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: I definitely get this for high school, but I'm not so sure elementary school is a good place to start, particularly as a lot of kids bloom a little late and once you are in a set/tier it is often extremely difficult to move out of it even if you are doing very well.


This is a braindead idea even when dealing with groups of fully grown adults.  Once a teacher starts playing favorites, the students will invariably perform according to the expectations placed on them.

Moreover, the teacher himself will model his behavior according to the expectations he placed on each group of students.  Therefore, the group groomed for success will end up receiving more attention and effort on behalf of the teacher while the other group...  Well, they are supposed to be the losers. So, why even bother?
2013-03-19 07:47:26 AM  
1 votes:
I remember in the early 90's when they stopped grouping kids according to their abilities. Argued against this with my kids teachers and they whined uncontrollably that it wasn't fair to the dumb kids.
 
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