Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More on Age Segregation

My recent post (September 7, 2008) on age segregation generated a comment from Peter Gray, a research professor of psychology at Boston College, ...a specialist in developmental and evolutionary psychology and author of an introductory psychology textbook, Psychology, now in its 5th edition.

Someone who has "credentials" agrees with me. Cool. :-)

So, I'm linking to his Psychology Today blog Freedom to Learn about the subject here, if you are interested in the subject these are terrific resources. Two recent entries in particular address the age segregation idea.

From September 9:

Why We Should Stop Segregating Children by Age: Part I--The Value of Play in the Zone of Proximal Development

From September 17:

Why We Should Stop Segregating Children by Age: Part II--The Unique Educative Qualities of Age-Mixed Play

There are other interesting posts about education there as well, enjoy!

As a bonus here is an excerpt from his first post on Freedom to Learn:

"I have been teaching for a long time at a selective university. Students come to my classes with A averages in high school. But they don’t come knowing very much about the subjects they studied. They achieved high grades because they are bright and are motivated to get ahead through the standard procedures. They figured out what they needed to do to get high grades and then they did it. They figured how to do well on tests without learning much about the subject. They learned how to hold information, in the form that the teacher wanted, just long enough for the test.

I have no objection to students’ entering my classes not knowing much. Information is easy to find and easy to supply. If students discover that they need to know something as background to what I am saying or what they are reading, they can ask or look it up. I’m only sorry that they wasted so much time in school, when they would have been better off playing and following through on their own interests. If they had done that, then those who decided to go to college and to take my course would have good reasons for doing so; and others would have good reasons for choosing other routes. Students who have explored and are pursuing their own interests in their college studies are rare and delightful; they don’t treat their first year there as 13th grade." (Full Post here)

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