a reply to: Lilroanie
See, this is what I do not understand.
We do not hold people back a year here at all. Never. Each year above age eleven, one is usually placed into one of a series of groups. When I was at
school, it was laid out by subject. Those with a high aptitude for a subject would be in Set 1, those with an intermediate grasp and learning speed in
that subject would be in Set 2, and those who showed little to no aptitude at all for the subject would be in Set 3.
This was organised so that classes could be tailored somewhat, to the ability and needs of those studying. And being in Set 3 for something like
mathematics or English, would not stop you being in Set 1 for Craft, Design and Technology, or CDT, for example. So tailored was the experience in
fact, that I was in Set 1 for Science, because I had a massive thirst for and understanding of the concepts, theories and ways of thinking required,
but I was in Set 3 for mathematics most of my time in school.
Of course, that did not help matters at my school. I will not go into it again, since my time at school has been pretty well gone over on this site,
at some length. Suffice to say, it remains to this day the most dangerous place I ever set foot in, and I have been some pretty shady places. The
environment was damaging to my psyche and to my education, so I made no progress there, and had to resit all my exams at college, in order to attain
my basic qualifications in the core subjects. After one year of the resit course, I passed all but one of the exams I took, and all of the exams which
I had previously failed.
I am still terrible at mathematics, but I can count change very well. The reality with me though, is that A) I have always done more learning at home
than at places of education, and B) if my secondary education had not taken place in what amounts to a god damned warzone, then the chances are that I
would have gone on from there, into higher education. Such was not my fate however.
The point is, there are ways to ensure that one gets the education one needs, but they involve a certain amount of effort and yes, somewhere along
the line, another crack may need having at the basic qualifications. It's not necessary to hold a person back a year, but it may be necessary for them
to complete their education in different surroundings. To my mind, high school is a BAD place to learn. All it teaches you is that psychopaths are
going to be effortlessly successful, that your efforts mean nothing because you could die at any second. There is no motivator for anyone to do
anything in such environs as I was exposed to.
In a place where one is treated as an adult though, there ARE opportunities for individuals to make the most of their intelligence, and achieve what
they need to in order to move forward. Expecting human beings to respond to uniform codes of conduct, speeds of learning, methods of learning...it is
simply foolish. It does not work, it never did and never will. Until schools are flexible enough, well staffed enough, and SMALL enough that students
can get their educational needs met effectively in more than eighty five percent of circumstances, there will ALWAYS be people leaving school who
cannot count change, do not know how to write their names, do not have basic abilities common to those expected years ago.