Recent educational experiments have included ungraded classrooms which consist of students grouped by level of achievement rather than by age. Imagine that such an ungraded classroom system is suggested for your school. As a parent, write a strong argument to be read at the next meeting of the board of education
The first day that my daughter went to kindergarten, I noticed something at her classroom that concerned me. She was almost three-year-old, but she was in a class with three, four, and five years old. My concern was that older children could hurt her or teach her behaviors that she was not ready to learn. It has been three years since that day. Now, I believe that classes grouped by level of achievement rather than by age are very beneficial for society because there is not a rush for children to develop in all their skills at the same time, a different age class environment is more realistic to actual society, and same grouped by level of achievement classes are more effective for students and teacher.
Many children can have the same age, but they not develop at the same time in the same skills. There are four basic skills that children master at an early age; social, emotional, cognitive, and physical. Some children need more time for mastering a skill such as cognitive skill. Pushing children to the next level without been ready, only causes frustration and failing. I support the concept that children only learn when they are ready, so I consider a waste of time and energy to try to teach a concept when they are not ready. For example, my daughter's best friend is two years older than her, and she is very good in sports, but she is taking more time learning to read. She used to enjoy being at my daughter's school where they classified children by achievement rather than age. Now, she is in a classroom with children of her own age, and she is expressing her frustration and rejection to school.
In addition, an age mixed class makes a more realistic social environment where older children help little ones and young children learn from older ones. For instance, last year my husband and I spent almost six months trying to potty train my daughter, but it was not until she went to preschool that she learn to go potty by herself. She observed and followed older children; she understood that she could do it to. This year, she is the oldest one in her class and, I was very proud of her when she was trying to comfort a younger child the first day of classes. A mixed age class gave her the opportunity to teach and learn.
Furthermore, a same level of achievement class will allow teacher to focus more in a specific subject rather than be creating different materials for different needs. On the case that all the children in the class are learning their letters, the teacher will have more time to prepare games and projects related to that activity instead of distracting their attention in other children needs such as teach them how to cut a paper.
Any subject in life should be taught at the level of the person who is learning it. Age is not an indicator of knowledge. Having same level of achievement classes will benefit society because students are going to be more motivated to learn-they want to learn. For the people who do not agree with this concept, they should understand that human being does not develop and acquire skills at the same age. We are not always ready to pass to the next level.