Symposium 5

When I was in grade 6, my class sat a literacy test at the beginning of the year. After the test, myself and about 4 others were taken aside and told we had a reading age of a 16 year old. From then on, we were separated from the rest of the class during English, given different books to read, and completed different exercises.

When I was in high school, I and the rest of the school were aware of the maths class called Foundation Maths. It was a high support maths class for the kids who struggled. It was offered every year until VCE, where I suppose those same kids were expected to complete Further Maths, competing with people like me, who chose to do it because I found the higher level class too challenging, and I wasn’t that interested in maths and pursuing it after school.

I’m not saying that my school was a good school in terms of curriculum, and definitely not in terms of teacher quality, but they had the foundations to potentially be good. There were a couple of high achievers in primary school, who were urged to attend secondary school maths and English classes. So the school tried. Adrian made an obvious point about the lack of diversity in teaching methods used in schools in symposium 5. He mentioned a school that uses different technologies integrated into classes as alternative methods of learning, and mixed ages within classes.

Though social issues may arise when age levels become mixed. For example, a 14 year old placed in a 10 year old English class may be in an environment that suits their skill level, but surely there would be significant social consequences between peers as a result;

However the idea of classing students according to skill level is substantial and has value. Schools should be evolving, and constantly re-evaluating the effectiveness of their teaching methods, particularly in light of this developing technological era.


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