Are you pro or against streaming in schools?

@ronaldinu (12445)
Malta
October 22, 2008 10:49am CST
In my country the eleven plus exam is being removed in a few years time. The Education system is shifting from streaming to a comprehensive schooling. This means that as a teacher I am going to teach a mixed ability class. This means more preparation and more work. As a teacher I have to prepare four or five half yearly examination papers instead of one to cater for the various abilities in class. Are you in favour of streaming? Do you think that children benefit more from a comprehensive school?
9 people like this
16 responses
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
22 Oct 08
I cannot see how this will benefit the children. What is their reasoning for doing this? Funding, budget, what? How can you focus on what the kids need to learn in the short time you have such a mixed set of students? I teach dance and it is a nightmare teaching mixed levels as I have to find a way to teach the struggling kids and yet progress with the higher levels. Everyone gets the short end of the stick!
@agrady (20)
• United States
23 Oct 08
I think that on a whole, the educational system has deteriorated significantly over the years. I wasn't aware of "streaming" but from your description, it sounds like another avenue that will keep the educational process going downhill. I believe one of the best things about the system in the U.S. was the development of the 12-grade program where children in each grade received the level of work and attention that was designed specifically for them. In my opinion, nothing will ever surpass this set up so there's no reason to change it.
@agrady (20)
• United States
23 Oct 08
Correction: I misread the article -- "streaming" is actually the system we've been under all these years and it's "comprehensive" education that will eliminate the 12-grade program that "streaming" consists of.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
22 Oct 08
I used to teach too. Our students are streamed. Although there is an issue of "labelling" I think streaming has its good points. It's much easier to teach a class with similar abilities. Even then there will still be students who are better and faster than others within the class. If you need to teach a mixed ability class, Id suggest a pairing system. Get the better ones to sit with the lesser ability ones, then at least both will learn something from it. 4-5 exams is a killer. We have about 3 streams altogether and we have quarterly assessments. Worse! I was forever doing exam papers. I can't imagine preparing a lesson for such a class too. Will you have activities for different groups of students. There is also an advantage though. I feel that they can all learn from one another.
• United States
26 Oct 08
Bummer. What happened? Do you have less teachers? I think streaming is a bad idea. Peer pressure is bad enough when you have the same level in class. With different levels all in the same class the ones who are a little slower may feel useless and the others who are on level or above may get bored. What a mess.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164755)
• Garden Grove, California
23 Oct 08
hi ronaldinu I think that the gifted kids and the kids with learning disabilities should have separate classes as mainstreaming a kid who is way ahead does no good for anyone, and the kids with below normal learning ability are not helped at all. there should be special classes for both ends of the scholastic rainbow. I dont think mainstreaming is at all the answer.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Oct 08
ive never heard of that before.. maybe they arent doing it in the states since my cousin that is a teacher hasnt said anything about it
1 person likes this
@littleowl (7157)
22 Oct 08
Hi ronald, in the UK we stopped the 11+ a long time ago which is a shame, but now all schools have gone comprehensive, I am against losing the 11+ it was a good exam for that age to see where children's learning abilities were at, but time changes and here the UK it changed years ago...littleowl
1 person likes this
22 Oct 08
Hi ronaldinu, I don't know about todays standed but I went to a comprehensive school when I was young and it didn't do me any harm and I've learned a lot, I loved it too. Tamara
1 person likes this
@moondancer (7434)
• United States
22 Oct 08
I do believe that the new systems, although it will be more work for you. It will be a better advantage for the children as they learn at different levels and quickness as some do in the class. For the ones that are more advanced in their learning they get the oportunity to have something at their level of learning than being stuck in something that is dull, over done with them. They get depressed and bored with repetative papers of learning or testing. If they move along quiker or know more they need more challenging papers to work on and tests to do.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
22 Oct 08
We have that in our public schools here in Ontario as well (and presumably all of Canada now too?). We call it full integration, and all children are put in the public school system unless they have some severe physical or mental issues. Even then, there are some extreme cases that are in the classrooms (such as autistic children, an example being one of my older son's good friends who has been diagnosed with severe Asbergers Syndrome). These children who are unable to follow the standard grade courses and programs, are put on what's called an "IEP" I think... "individual education plan". Basically, it means they are getting to "pass" each grade, even though they don't know the minimal skills normally required to pass that level. They each usually have their own "EA" (educational assistant), but they aren't able to teach the kids much of anything... they're more like glorified babysitters within the school. I don't like the idea of this full integration. It's not fair for anyone involved, and the only people who seem to benefit are the higher ups in the school board who are budgeting the books. Sure, the kids get to stay amongst their age level peers, but what good does that do for those who aren't at that same cognitive level anyways? And sure, they pass them throughout the elementary grades, but then comes high school, and they fail them then. I think failing them at that time is far more detrimental to their emotional well being.
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
27 Oct 08
I don't think it is fair to the kids or the teachers. When I was in school, these kids had their own class room for most classes. Some, depending on their disability and capability, were allowed to be in certain classes with us. It was usually a cooking,gym,shop, art class or something of that nature. They maybe needed a bit extra attention but not to the point of distraction. I remember having one in a cooking class that was a great cook and we all loved him. It was a priviledge for these kids to be able to be in these classes. If they caused problems they were removed. It was good for them and for us who were not handicapped. To just mainstream all handicapped students is just not fair to anyone.
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
27 Oct 08
oops and the blonde totally misunderstands the question once again. I thought you were talking about mentally challenged kids. I see that you were'nt. I think that kids should attend whatever class is suited to their level of learning on that subject. The problem with mainstreaming is they lock kids into a certain level on all subjects. A kid could be great in math and not so good in english and history and they'll put him in a lesser group in all 3 subjects. They should have different levels for all subjects. They should be flexible and let the kids move up the levels. In fact they should strive to move up. So my answer remains the same...mainstreaming is wrong for all involved.
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
27 Oct 08
oh my...had a long nite at work. I should just go to bed. I know what I mean and I'm wording it all wrong. Correction...mainstreaming does not lock them all into one level. There needs to be flexibility when placing students.
@zalilame (880)
• Malaysia
27 Oct 08
I have to go with streaming of the kids. It helps teacher to concentrate on students with the same abilities. The teachers can also plan in advance what they wanna teach them without having to plan 3 or 4 lesson per day. The teacher can also pay attention to specific students.
• Canada
26 Oct 08
I think that children's abilities need to be taken into consideration when teaching. If everyone tries to cater to them all in one way the less advanced students will be challenged too much, and the advanced ones will be held back. I think there should be classes for every level, and no shame in the class that yo happen to be in.
@sharra1 (6344)
• Australia
23 Oct 08
Well I have only every experienced a comprehensive system and I would argue that students of lower ability can learn from being with higher ability students. I know that some people argue that higher level students suffer but I have never seen that. I do believe that children who are put into a class that says they are not smart enough grow up to believe that they are not smart. If they are lucky they will get a teacher who cares enough and puts in enough work to help them grow. I also believe that 11 is very young to label a child smart or dumb. I wonder how I would have been classified at that age. After all I was an average student all through school but I eventually went on to Uni and got an honors degree.
@kun2349 (23475)
• Singapore
23 Oct 08
There are pros and cons for streaming.. Pros, is that the students are able to learn at their own pace together with theri peers whom are the same standard as them ^_^ I believe that will do them good, and they won't be so stressed too, or too depressed fi they are not doing as well ^_^ Cons, they will be labelled as lower class, and that they are lousy, stupid, that's why they are in different classes.. This in a way, will demoralised them, causing them to lose interest in their studies, because they will really think so, inside them.. Thus, for u as a teacher, u have to make a judgement for yourself ^_^
@magojordan (3254)
• Philippines
23 Oct 08
I think it is ok to teach in a mixed abilities class. In this way the smarter students could teach the slow ones and thus making learning more fun for all. Although it's hard work wouldn't it be fulfilling as a teacher to see your students learn while having fun? Also mixing them with people with different abilities make them see and experience what at least the real world is because they get to meet different people.