The Insanity of Modern Educational Thinking

Below is an article that exemplified the absolute lack of balance and common sense in our Education system.  To have three separate school uniforms in the one school grounds, with each uniform representing a different learning ability, is just plain insane!  It is demeaning, offensive, inexcusable and achieves the exact opposite of what a school is supposed to achieve.

A school isn’t just a place where information is disseminated.  Schools serve as  a microcosm for society as a whole.  They prepare students for the challenges faced in the real world.  They are supposed to help children realise the importance of responsibility, empathy, teamwork, leadership, perseverance and acceptance.

But do they really?

Children from aged 11 are being segregated, taught in colour-coordinated buildings, playing in separate fenced-off areas and eat lunch at different times.

The move has caused concern that it is stigmatising children who are placed in lower quality sets.

Pupils are ranked as they leave primary school and placed into one of three mini schools at Crown Woods College, Greenwich.

The brightest go to Delamere and wear purple ties and purple badges. The rest go to Ashwood, which wears blue, or Sherwood, which wears red.

The two latter schools are made up of pupils with mixed abilities but are still streamed into three tiers.

Critics have warned that the move is demoralising for pupils and encourages resentment and animosity amongst those in different sets.

Michael Murphy, the head teacher at the comprehensive, said: “I felt if we made explicit the provision for high-ability children we would be able to attract those children and their parents who would rather not put them in to a grammar.”

“Mrs Thatcher said you can’t ignore the market, you have to respond to it.”

Kevin Courtney, deputy secretary of the National Union of Teachers has condemned the practice.

He said: ‘The idea of taking a large school and turning it into three mini schools is likely to be good for [the school’s] relationships, but streaming is a step backwards. It leads to competition for children rather than improvement in teaching.”

Labelling a student based on their current learning level is extremely damaging.  Schools should be doing all they can to eliminating labels and focussing not on what makes us different, but rather, on the things which unite us.  We all want to feel respected and cared about.  We want to be appreciated for the skills we have and supported in obtaining skills that don’t come easy to us.

Instead of drawing attention to discrepancies in ability, we should be drawing attention to the fact that each and every child has unique qualities which make them important.  Just like a vibrant society requires people from all walks of life, political perspectives and skills, a schoolyard does too.

How would teachers like it if they were colour coded according to their teaching ability?

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One Response to “The Insanity of Modern Educational Thinking”

  1. Carl D'Agostino Says:

    We are different with different learning ability. To deny that is astonishing and delusional. I could never learn music, dancing, physics or verb conjugations in foreign languages. One problem is that the gifted kids finish a one hour assignment in 15 minutes. Now what are you supposed to do with them? If you give them additional tasks they feel they are being punished. How do you give the kids that are behind the extra help they need and manage the whole group? In my 11th grade regular classes, the kids ranged from 2-5 years behind in reading level.How was I supposed to accommodate everyone in one class for 1 hour with such disparities. ? I gave them a choice of assignments but they all picked the easiest. You can’t stifle the college bound in groups such as this. You would not prepare them for college unless they are in a class with peers of their same advanced level. All the arguments you present are legitimate. I don’t have an answer. What you speak of has more to do with social equality and democracy not education. In Miami Dade the standards for all seem on a college track. They expect everyone to have mastered algebra 1 leaving the eighth grade. Half cannot do it and will increase the drop put rate in senior high. We cannot have a one size fits all system. In that scenario the slow ones get further behind and never catch up. I have a BA is history, an MA in religion and an MA in addiction therapy and I can’t do algebra 1. Weakness in upper level math almost prevented me from graduating from undergrad or even getting into college at all. Yet I excelled in these other pursuits.

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