Continuing from my earlier post on education, and emphasizing the need for further decongestion, I have realized that not only should we reduce the number of subjects in our schools, we should also stop boxing-in our students by grade levels for the entire curriculum. I realized we should move them up by grade levels PER SUBJECT.
Isn’t it stupid that we hold up a student’s moving up of a grade level because they failed one or two subjects? Isn’t it more rational to divide grade levels PER SUBJECT and not the ENTIRE CURRICULUM? In that way a student isn’t stuck on some perceived failed grade level because they aren’t good in one or two subjects (which if they are tested, would probably turn out to be their natural weak subjects), uselessly repeating other subjects they already passed.
Say a Grade 1 student good in Math can move up to Grade 2 Math if they so pass the subject, but may remain on grade 1 Science if they fail that subject. So a single student may be attending subjects of varying grade levels based on their performance on each subject. For example, an 8 year old kid might be attending Grade 2 Math, Grade 4 English, Grade 2 Science, Grade 3 History, Grade 5 Arts and Music – you get the idea. The speed by which they move up grade levels will depend on their performance in each individual subject. And teachers can recommend acceleration provided the student can pass the examination for moving up to the next grade level of the subject. And if that is not enough, each on of the year will bring a final assessment that will re-test the level of the students in all subjects so that by the next school year, they will be put in the proper starting grade level in each subject.
No more of this nonsense of moving up students wholesale. No two students are alike in the speed at which they may learn each subject. Their brilliance in one subject shouldn’t be punished by their failure in another. A 10 year old kid might be brilliant enough to be studying High School Math but under our present system, he or she is stuck being taught Grade 4 Math because he or she is just average in all his or her other subjects. Such waste! Both in time and potential.
One problem I foresee though is the mixing of different-aged students that might result in bullying, isolation, and difficulty in assimilating to the class. Students moved up out of their age group might have difficulty relating to their classmates who are not their peers. While students in that grade level who moved-up naturally (without acceleration; meaning they are in the grade level of the subject appropriate for their age) will resent their “moved-up” classmates, and discord will ensue. One solution I can think of is to create a special class per subject for “moved-up” students. While not a perfect solution, it would at least allow “moved-up” students to join “kindred souls,” in the sense that all in their class would be “moved-up” student who, like them, are considered gifted for that subject. In short, their peers. Maybe not in age, but certainly in subject aptitude.
This system of moving up also solves the problem of slow learners holding up the fast learners. Each student will learn exactly at the pace they are capable of, having been tested and put at the appropriate level for their aptitude.
Another problem that might arise is the students’ intentional neglect of their weak subjects resulting in a very unbalanced set of grade level subjects. Being weak in a certain subject, a student may grow to dislike the subject, and may in turn completely disregard the subject. So perhaps institute a minimum grade level for each subject for each aged student. For example, a student must not be in any Grade 1 subject class by the time they are 10 years old (this is just an example ofc, the age, grade, and gap allowed may differ depending on studies and research) Also, we are only talking of core subjects in here. The minimum does not apply for electives and other subjects.