Friday, October 8, 2010

Were You Tracked From Day One?

I was surprised to hear that since the first day of kindergarten, I was tracked (grouped) and evaluated based on what I knew at the age of 5. Believe it or not, you were always tracked to see whether you were a prospect to join the workforce or continue on to college. Schools are basically social institutions and a political scientist would call it a agency of socialization that helps shape an individuals basic beliefs and values. Tracking is the evaluation of students and the the grouping of the bright and not "as" bright. Kindergarten Teachers evaluate kids to see if they follow directions and communicate well. If the child does not prove he or she is not smart enough, they are held behind. As the years pass and you get into middle school and high school, it becomes more stratified. Have you ever noticed that your friends were taking AP or honors courses and you were taking Home Ec? How did they start taking these courses and whats the difference between yourself and that other person. Schools believe that grouping children with the same type of academic ability as themselves will benefit them and their teachers. But what about the low achieving children? Do the smart kids get smarter and the slow kids get slower?

Here's a Video on tracking. Enjoy :)

Despite the fact that this is happening now many have pondered whether the practice of tracking and grouping is promoting inequality. Because of this system, children have been labeled as the smart kids and the average kids. I don't know about you but I wouldn't like to be referred to as just "average".

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