I’m doing research into education at the moment, and I came across this hilarious quote in the wiki article on “Cluster grouping“:
“Further, in mixed ability group projects, gifted children frequently do most of the work or teach the other children, which is not their responsibility and for which they have no certification.”
I’ll cop to being labeled a “gifted” student, and I want to be clear that I am not trying to bash any group. I think the issue of gifted education is complicated and muddy on both sides of the fence.
But not only did I find this comment to be accurate, I thought the bolded portion was an extremely relevant commentary on some of the misunderstandings of “giftedness” by general educators. It is in fact the teachers job to teach the class, and while I am perfectly happy to help out a classmate who asks me, a major project is not the proper place for anyone to be learning material that they should have known prior to the assignment.
While I agree that “teaching” others can help to cement a concept in one’s mind, it does not somehow make delegation by the teacher a benefit for the student-“teacher” in question, gifted or otherwise.
Anyone writing YA in a school setting might want to consider the issues associated with streaming, gifted and talented education(GATE), and the conflict between conforming and being an individual in a school setting. Academic achievement comparisons are not a small issue in any student’s mind, whether they be encouraged or discouraged by that students peer group.
(Don’t worry, I’m not going to go off on a big tanget and bore you with my research. Think of this a small blip on the radar, slipping sinking swiftly back into obscurity.)