The following article fits very well with the topic of "School," which is something that doesn't appear much on my site but it is important to both in my professional and private life.
This week we got into a discussion that can be summed up as: "The school system does too little for high-performing students." We addressed other problems, such as school performance, grading, pressure on performance, etc. but that was at th heart of the debate.
As teachers we must not neglect children. There are plenty of recommendations for teachers on how to cope with a heterogeneous class. Most of these recommendations focus on the under performing students.
We can do better than that:
- Collect associations with terms to understand where you need to focus your attention. Which students have more problems? What problems and difficulties will the students of the two groups face?
- a) under performing pupils,
- b) high-achieving students.
- What would you focus on?
- a) under performers
- b) high-achievers
- Imagine you are a struggling (a) low-performance pupil now a (b) more powerful student with less trouble learning. While one will have all sorts of problems at school the other will go fairly undetected, yet that student is in fact under achieving. When a student is not challenged they will not be encouraged to further there knowledge only do what is asked of them. The under performing pupils will make achievements and push themselves while high-achievers tend to blend into the background.
We are still avoiding students. And some may say that it isn't avoiding, it is focusing on those that need the most help.
This is dangerous and still the apathy prevails.
We are teaching these children to be under achievers. Some time ago a teacher wrote that some classes seemed like a madhouse to him. His statements were highly politically incorrect, but he tried to open an honest dialog, some classes are more effort than others. Some are completely out of hand.
One aspect that becomes apparent in is that the collateral damage caused by completely overwhelmed and confused teachers that are trying to find a balance on a daily basis, which, in addition, is widely disseminated in its effectiveness via a completely misguided course in the teaching system is as technically and intellectually, lead closer and closer to the edge of academic downturn. We are also increasingly risking large sections of the population that will be needed to represent us in a growing more competitive global stage where over achieving students are pushed to challenge their limits and grow.
How much longer can this go well – even in a country as great as ours, where we are steadily loosing ground – when will parents demand more fairness for their child's academic welfare?