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Article Title: Why streaming kids according to ability is a terrible idea


Article Summary

The article at issue is a compilation of the author’s views on why segregating students based on capability is a hugely maleficent practice. The author, being a teacher himself, recounts his experiences with differential academic ability in the classroom. Those accounts make one think that segregated teaching may indeed be good – after all, it will make achievers reach even greater heights, stop putting impossible weights on the not gifted, and make both parents’ and teachers’ lives easier. Segregated learning, or ‘streaming’, is also widely adopted, currently. However, argues the author, there are several pitfalls to it. First, the weak performers have low expectations placed on them, further harming performance. Second, most of them are from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds, and putting them into lower brackets increases continuously the gap between their and their wealthy counterparts’ lifestyles. Third, and most importantly, peer learning is often more useful than learning from a teacher. People who have just learned something, and are not experts at it, often teach better, and peers often share the same social conversational mores, making communication and understanding each other easier. By doing away with the efficient practice of peer learning, and by encouraging discrimination, streaming promises to be a learning mode destined for failure.

Article Link: Click here to read the full article


Words to learn from this article:

Moderation: temperance, avoiding extremes and taking a middle ground.

Comprehensive: very wide in scope, covering everything.

Wanes: gets diminished, reduces.

Pedagogical: relating to the methodology of teaching.

Paradigm: something that serves as a guide or model.

Autonomous: independently functioning.

Motley: eclectic.

Chafed: scraped, reddened or cut by continuously rubbing.

Snags: obstacle or hindrance.

Empirical: based on observation as opposed to experiments.


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