GUEST COLUMN: Why our industrial age schools are failing our information age kids

Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 05:10 PM.

•  Locking students into grades: Grade levels are incompatible with the Information Age model because students learn at different rates and become ready to move on to different material at different times. Grade levels are a key feature of the time-based, sorting-focused paradigm that served us well during the Industrial Age, but are detrimental to meeting Information Age educational needs.

Instead, group students into similar developmental levels, which typically span three to four years.

“Grouping developmentally, rather than based on age or rigid levels of content learning, accounts for the different rates at which children develop socially and emotionally,” Reigeluth says. “Children can remain in their social-emotional peer group while working on projects typically tackled by students of a higher or lower age.”

Charles M. Reigeluth is a distinguished educational researcher who focuses on paradigm change in education. He has a B.A. in economics from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in instructional psychology from Brigham Young University. He was a professor at the Instructional Systems Technology Department at Indiana University, and is a former chairman of the department. His new book, “Reinventing Schools,” available from his website, advocates and chronicles a national paradigm change in K-12 education. He offers presentations and consulting on this topic.



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