Graded Hindrance

Should knowledge be graded to fit the learner? From pre-school reading books to advanced English textbooks, there exists an enormous selection of material that is designed to avoid scaring students while at the same time allow them to progress. Are such materials helpful, however? Or has this need simply been created by marketing teams to squeeze as much profit from education managers and purchasers?

graded readers

Some will be disturbed by their child reading Homer’s Odyssey. Yet isn’t it the content and concepts that the child will be perturbed by and not the actual tracing of the letters and words? There will be some that argue you can’t run before you can walk but as an adult we read what we want. A child isn’t allowed to as they are pushed into reading graded readers. Such books can be dangerous if they are allowed to become and end in themselves and not a quick stepping stone to ‘real’ books. The same applies to maths and any other form of learning. Graded or level-based materials can delay the progress of the student if they are expected to complete a stage before progressing even if they are already able to achieve success at the levels above. Levels and grades assume that we start with learning deficits which need to be filled and only when satiated can we move on to the next stage in our education. What we need instead are groups of students based on shared knowledge or experience regardless of other factors such as age or gender. Education has unfortunately for some become an end in itself and only when we remember that it is a means to another end will we do away with filling the heads of learners with unnecessary nonsense and push them to break free of their educational shackles as early as possible

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