All In This Together

I was observing some of the students in an English class. They simply could not care less about learning English. They aren’t necessarily ‘bad’ kids. They just would rather be doing ANYTHING than sitting in class doing English. They don’t even try to pick up phrases. They are content to simply say “hello” and smile to me.

When the teacher does give grades, she contemplates whether to give the motivated students a 9 or a 10, but for the others who don’t know more than four words of English, she usually gives them sympathy 4 or 5.  These non-motivated students will not progress in English at all this school year.

Add to that the norm of passing poor performing students regardless to the next level. I mentioned in an earlier post that the students are grouped together in the 1st grade as a class and those people are their classmates until they graduate. Every class, every year is with the same people.

I previously didn’t understand the logic of simply moving them on to the next grade without mastering the information. I still don’t. Why not use grades effectively as a motivational (or punitive) tool? But then I got to thinking that in cases of elective courses, i.e., English, even using a grade system does not work in the grand scheme of things. For Example: It can not be assumed that little Nino is a poor or unmotivated student in ALL of her courses. She could very well be an excellent student with excellent marks in all other subjects which are taught in her native language. So it is not a solution to fail her in English, because what would that look like realistically? You can not hold her back for the entire grade for not performing well in one elective. And this example can be used in any subject. If they do not perform well in one or more subjects, what is the alternative to social promotion?

Now, as there is no solution, they all move up grade by grade together.

***

We’re all in this together 
Once we know
That we are 
We’re all stars 
And we see that 
We’re all in this together 
And it shows 
When we stand 
Hand in hand 
Make our dreams come true

Together, together, together everyone
Together, together, come on lets have some fun
Together, were there for each other every time
Together together come on lets do this right

All In This Together, High School Musical Cast

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