Saturday, June 25, 2005

Too Many Choices For Freshmen?

Here's an interesting comment about high school freshman perfomance from this article:

It isn't that these once high-performing students can't do the work. I think that for some, the discovery that they have to work harder than in grammar school surprises -- and sometimes discourages -- them. They're used to knowing everything with very little effort, so when they're faced with a tough class in high school, it throws them. Some lose their confidence; others figure -- in that screwy teenage way -- that if they never really try, they aren't really failing.

The premise of the article is to give high school students fewer, not more, freedoms and choices. Give them fewer opportunities to fail. I'm not sure I agree with the premise since it's unsupported by anything other than opinion. Still, it's worth a read.

The quote above? Couldn't be more true.

1 comment:

Ronnie said...

I don't think fewer classes are going to help anyone, but maybe more direction could. I knew a bunch of people who took Cisco freshmen year and wasted an entire class because they were bored out of their minds and the program got cancelled so they couldn’t continue.

I think if we had councilors who actually talked to a student about the classes, and knew the classes more then the general statements that come out of some handbook, such as the specific day to day activities, students would end up where they wanted without the shock that comes from just going into a class blind.

It would also be nice to have them ask why you’re going into classes. I've been in Honors English since 7th grade, do you know why? I could do it and did so well in normal. Now that kind of arbitrary reasoning might satisfy some people, but I like to have more solid reasons to do something. This year after some trouble with one of the English teachers I switch to normal at the semester, where I did significantly better, learned more in a less rigorous fashion, and actually enjoyed it. The fact was English at a slower pace worked better for me, something I wish I had known earlier in my life.

I think we really need to get people to help students and their parents make better informed decisions, because parents want their children to do as much as possible and sometimes that isn't always best. In the end, it’s not about what grades they get and what classes they’ve taken it’s about what they’ve gotten out of their education and what that can do for them the rest of their lives.

Ronnie