Subsequent to being a member of the “special class” at Brunskill Public School, in Saskatoon, I found that my high school, Evan Hardy Collegiate, also streamed the sections. F and G were the bright ones. D and E were regular. C too. as I recall. A and B were destined for shop. Later in about Grade 11 they switched it so A and B were for university and F and G were for shop. One year, because I did poorly in grade 10, I was demoted to C from B. We were suddenly going so slowly in math that my mother rushed to the school to complain. After a week I was back in B. I discovered we were about a hundred pages farther on in the math text. In the end I finally got an A in math, and it was always thus so for the rest of my life, in relation to math.
Personally, I am in favour of streaming. We should probably do it at university level as well. Students that are weaker academically need a slower pace and more help and they generally get it. But smarter students need a fast pace and help too and they don’t get it because the teachers try to help those with greater needs. Unfortunately, I think it means the smart ones that need help regress towards the mean. There are really capable students who can go it alone without the teacher’s help, but many would benefit more from understanding the concepts and then they could speed along more quickly.
Should everyone go to university? Should everyone at university get to take whatever he or she wants? Universities have entrance standards. Should they be relaxed? In many universities, there are higher entrance requirements for studies in Business, Engineering and other more professionally-oriented programs. How unfair is this?
As a homeowner, I know how hard it is to get a tradesperson to come and fix something, because there are serious shortages of people training for various trades. Why? Because those who can get admitted to post-secondary education more frequently want to go to university. Why? Because they have an expectation that they will make more with a university education than as a tradesperson.
Still, a bathroom tiler can make more than most university professors. Go figure.
I don’t see why education shouldn’t be tailored to the needs and capacities of the learners. Also personality types. In the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, there are four basic personality sets and they have quite different learning styles. Why not try to help all of them?