CS Lewis (Was: Favourite books)

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Tue Dec 14 15:12:48 EST 2004

> There's good evidence that mixing kids of mixed abilities in teenytiny
> groups, so the faster kids help along the slower kids, works great with
> the right teachers.  (Hear a thing, remember for a day; See a thing,
> remember for a week; Do a thing, remember for a year; Teach a thing;
> remember for a lifetime.)  But you have to convince the parents of the
> gifted kids.  And you need the right environment.

Evidence shows this works fine for the lower-skills kids, but unless the 
group is small enough for the teachers to spend quality time with the 
upper-skills kids, it's basically hell. You get kids who don't really 
want to learn, paired with kids who DO want to learn, but they've 
already learned what is being discussed... and then you have 
nine-year-olds doing the kind of exhausting tutoring that it takes 
grownups and parents hours to recover from. And unless it's handled very 
carefully, you get resentment from the lower-skills kids too.

The best thing that ever happened to me was being tracked into all 
upper-skills classes in high school. Up to that point I was considering 
going to Vocational-Technical school for landscape design, since that at 
least sounded interesting.

I suspect with the right teachers, and the right teacher-student ratio, 
almost any educational method could be made to work-- but it takes 
really gifted teachers to take 30 kids of assorted ability levels who 
just happen to be the same age, and put them all through the same 
material in a year. 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net 
"I don't get the facts wrong.  It's everything else I screw up."
    -- _The Librarian: Quest for the Spear_
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