Sunday, April 7, 2013

Keeping Track- REFLECTION

For this post, I read "Tracking: Why Schools Need to Take Another Route" by Jeannie Oakes and "Literacy with an Attitude" by Patrick J. Finn. I would like to focus on Oakes's piece. I have never been a fan of placing children into different groups. This leads to students feeling either "smart" or "slow" in class. Personally, I was always placed in higher level groups and I was aware of this because the material came easy to me. What these school systems do not realize is that children are more aware than they believe. Some may think students don't realize which group they are in but trust me, they do. It is the unfortunate truth that the higher performing will be aware of the "slow group" which causes children to feel extremely stupid and worthless in the classroom. 
These readings reminded me of my service learning experience. When I work in the kindergarten classroom, I usually work with the same children. These students are the lowest performing in the class and if they do not realize this now, they soon will. It is only a matter of time for a child to realize that these two are constantly leaving the classroom or working with assistants for a reason. Oakes says, "Students who are placed in high ability groups have access to far richer school experiences than other students" (178). This can also be turned around because those who are in lower groups are bound to have lesser school experiences.
Schools need to change the way their classrooms are run. Grouping children together by their intelligence levels is unfair, especially at such a young age. In high school, it is understandable for more intelligent students to take higher level classes but this process is starting much too young. Children in elementary school should not feel more or less intelligent than their peers based on their groups. 

COMMENTS: As I said before, I am lucky that I was always ahead of the game in elementary school. I was considered one of the smart kids and always knew where I stood in the classroom. I received high grades and praise and finally realized that there were other students less intelligent than me because of the certain groups they were placed in. Schools definitely need to find something that works better than grouping these students together. If it weren't for these groups in elementary school, I would have never realized that there were children less intelligent than me and my fellow group mates. 


  1. I agree. Schools need to find a better way to help the slower kids. Maybe the more excelled students can tutor the slower kids. There's different ways!

  2. Hi Kerri! Great Blog! I agree too, students should never be put in a situation where they are aware that there are "smart" kids and kids who are "not as smart" because you're right, they do notice and it has affects them greatly. I agree with Tiff too that there are different ways schools can go about fixing this but they should really work towards fixing this problem.