Monday, April 15, 2013

"Tracking," Jeannie Oakes Opinion

For Jeannie Oakes article, “Tracking: Why Schools Need To Take Another Route,” I decided to use a quote to bounce my own opinion off of.

“Many express particular concern about tracking's effects on poor and minority students, who are placed in low-ability groups more often than other students and are less likely to be found in programs for gifted students or in college preparatory tracks.” 
This quote makes me think about the learning levels my service learning students are at. Just because someone is from a poor family and home, does not mean they can’t be smart. It seems that privileged students think they are better in everything, whether it be school or athletics just because they come from a more constructed home life. The minority students I believe in their heads also think they are not as smart as the kids who have everything. Though, I don’t believe this goes on forever, I think once kids get older they understand everything more. Then again, most students from low income families are placed in the low groups since they are hardly ever educated at home, which has a big affect on them. Like Oakes says, students and teachers in the low ability classrooms don’t put in the time and effort they need to suceed. This makes students feel not smart, and makes them not want to do the work. I know most of the students I work with may not have the best guidance, or support from their homes. But, teachers should be the ones from the start encouraging them to succeed, and tell them they are going to go somewhere when they grow up. With my kindergarten students the entire hour I am their we work on math and reading skills. I have two separate groups, so I work at completely different paces. Since the groups have been put together by students abilities, no one is really ever struggling. Though, I do constantly have the problem of them already, at five years old, in the habit of not wanting to do the work. I know by the end of the day they are exhausted, but I do try my best to encourage them to do the work their best. When we do something I try to make them feel extra special, because I don’t want them to get the effect I don’t care about their learning. At home they probably have no discussion with what they are learning at school, especially since most of their parents can’t understand. 
* Students need to be pushed more to succeed and take advantage of their education. As educators we need to be the guidance students need whether it is low or high ability levels of learning. I personally think, low ability students can learn materials from high ability students, maybe even better than from a teacher. Tracking has a negative and positive affect on the way people learn, but I think it does have more advantages. 

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