CS Lewis (Was: Favourite books)

mecha godscylla mechagodscylla at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 14 15:11:37 EST 2004

Deborah wrote:
>I'm not saying I know the answer, because I don't -- but tracking only
>works for gifted kids.  It *can* work for the other kids, in theory, but
>it doesn't.  Until mass produced education finds a way to, say, educate
>the kids who get diagnosed with (pick your poison) at age 10, after
>which they can read/do math/what-have-you fine but before which they've
>been tracked with the 
>less-bright/dumber/different-intelligence/what-have-you kids, it's an
>imperfect system.

It never occurred to me to wonder about the why and wherefore of tracking in 
U.S. public education, but my parents told me that tracking into advanced 
groups/classes was introduced in the late 50's/early 60's as part of the 
space race, to cultivate future scientists. Caveat: I know nothing about 
this from any other source, but they were there and they were among the 
first tracked, so they probably know whereof they speak.  If that is so, 
then tracking wasn't created to benefit everyone by any means or with any 
consideration toward the overall idea of good education. There doesn't seem 
to be anything disinterested, for the improvement of education generally, in 
the original conception as described to me. While tracking has changed over 
time and in different settings as people tinker with it, I found it 
enlightening to consider the original intent because it explained so much 
about the structure as I experienced it.


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