Welcome to a collection of thoughts, questions and interesting links relating to giftedness ..............
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

School and the Real World

My apologies, things have been a bit quiet on the blog front lately, partly due to an extended overseas break, but I have been gathering ideas in my notebook from things I have been reading, and what comes to mind as a result. This thought started somewhere else but it raised some interesting questions about just what is 'real'.........

When I speak to groups of teachers, or even parents, on the topic of grouping inevitably someone comments in favour of mixed ability groups, claiming that grouping gifted kids together in groups or classes isn't needed because it doesn't reflect the 'real world'.

Equally when talking about the need to tap and develop students' passions in order to keep them engaged, learning meaningfully and on the path to success in life, someone inveitably comments that it is all very well but in the 'real world' you don't get to delve into what ever you like. This is usually said with some degree of envy, most people still feel that work is something you have to do, not enjoy.

The reality is that in the so called 'real world' (that is, the world after our school years are completed) we don't limit ourselves to friends of the same age. We mix with and enjoy the company of people with similar interests to us, regardless of their age. Nor is it likely that we will be in a work situation that includes people from such a wide range of intellectual abilities as a mixed ability classroom (particularly by the end of Primary school or beyond). We tend to work amongst others of a fairly similar intellectual level as ourselves on the whole.

For our children who are at school, that is their real world, perhaps the only one they have had the opportunity experience as yet.

So which is the real, 'real world'?

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