Date: Jul 10, 1995 4:14 PM
Author: Chi-Tien Hsu
Subject: simple reform

How about this reform of education: It is always possible to make some
rough assesment to see if a student has enough background to learn a
new subject, make it so dynamics that student can take certain subject
only if s/he passes some test or assesment, no matter what age what
grade s/he is. Then, I think both the teachers and students will be
happier. If everybody is doing so, and make them understand each
person develop differently, then I bet the self-esteem problem will
not be issue instead could be largely improved. At least, students
without sufficient background will not sit there first "feeling" bad
for himself, then start to make trouble to ease his frustration and

Each student does develop differently. I know there are researches in
this area and would like to call for more detailed researches so that
we can convince the public that, for example, there is no problem for
kids 7th grade still doing addition and substraction (I know many still
can't, but they are "forced" to learn algebra,...).

In my own experiences, I have seen students developed very slowly in
the beginning no matter how hard everybody ( parents teachers himself
)have tried, but later on suddenly open their mind and grow even
faster then their same ages. The key point is, we were very careful
not to have them face frustration toward math, and help them ease the
frustration related to the peer pressure that every one in their age
were quite ahead. As slow as they were, they were happy with their own
math which still has constant success although the step may seems too
slow from standard point of view. So, they have never really been
afraid of math.

Of course this slow, fast process may not happen to every students,
some are just slower. But the point is, would it be better for
students to solidly learn what they are able to learn, rather than
throwing them everything that they are not able to digest anyway, no
matter how you do it because the background is not there. Otherwise, they
will be so overwhelmed that they won't even learn what they are able
to learn.

Just a thought.