Developementally appropriate chinuch

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    What do you think? Many students are learning talmud at young age. While some are good with it, there are probably some students who need a less intense learning, before going into that.

    To much pressure can make a student disinterested.

    What do you think?

    m in Israel

    It starts WAY before gemorah. Kids are starting to learn to read in 4 year old programs. Most yeshivos / Bais Yaakovs in the US are expecting kids to be at least beginning to read in 2 languages BEFORE starting first grade. Many kids are fine like this — but many are not.

    The irony of it is that many studies have shown that starting academic skills at a younger age does not in any way improve the student’s long term progress. Kids who are taught to read at a slightly older age simply learn the skill faster. And by focusing on these skills at a younger and younger age, we are loosing out on time that could be spent teaching and working on the age appropriate social and readiness skills that are such a critical foundation for future success.

    My personal hunch is that most educators would agree that this is an issue, but will not change anything for fear that it would harm the school’s image. Parent’s must take a part of the blame for wanted their kids to be in the “best” school, and by judging that according to which school is winning the academic race.

    It’s like the homework conundrum — parents complain that kids have too much homework, too complex assignments, etc., but if a teacher doesn’t give homework (particularly in older grades), parents complain that the teacher isn’t teaching anything!


    There are programs like baby Einstein videos that teach babies how to read. That is way too early. In general, schools in America seem to try to put more and more pressure over time. It’s been going on for a long while. But it’s not productive. There are some public schools that even want to take away recess. That is conter-productive, because kids can’t learn if they don’t have a break to refresh.

    Anyway, the point is that kids need developementally appropriate curriculum where they can flourish.

    Like it says, in Pirkei Avos, Mishna at 10 and Gemorah at 15. No sooner. While some can do it earlier, for others it’s hard and discouraging. Let’s make learning enjoyable and do it at the right time.


    In the Zilberman yeshivos they learn at a slower pace with lots of chazarah.


    I think it’s a great way of learning. Why let your brain go to waste? I think I read somewhere that we use approx. 2% of our brain! Isn’t that amazing? There’s always sooo much more to learn and know! As for the kids who can’t keep up, they can get help (perhaps thoroughly reviewing their work at home with them). But why lower the level because of them? And what about the bright kids? Are they supposed to stare into space out of boredom?


    For kids who can handle a quick pace, that’s fine for them, some need that. But it’s not for everyone. And then they are labled as slow when really they just learn differently. We need to be accomodating to different learners so we don’t turn them off.


    I think I read somewhere that we use approx. 2% of our brain!

    That’s a myth. It’s not true. We use most of our brains.


    sm29: That’s appliable to all sorts of learners, including the ones who go bored and become behavioral problems (and worse), if they aren’t challenged


    yea, some need the quick learning, but some can’t handle it and need something different




    The schools say that the parents want it this way, and the parents say they don’t want it this way…what is the real story?

    Inquiring minds want to know.


    It’s probrably a mixture of both. Sometimes the parents expect a lot because they want the child to be a scholar. And sometimes it’s the school who wants to produce scholars. That’s understandable. However, we should remember the line that King Solomon said, ‘Teach a child according to his way’ whatever that way is. By doing so, we can acheive the goal we desire.

    m in Israel

    I don’t think this is usually not about “lowering” or “raising” any level, and I think this is a slightly different issue than the typical “do you teach to the strong or weak students?” The problem often arises when schools/ parents push ahead to get to the “next” step faster. This can be almost impossible for slower students, but it is not necessarily better for stronger students either. Putting more knowledge into your brain is usually not the best way to use it, and rushing to the next step may prevent even the stronger students from getting the most out of that stage.

    A recent study comparing the science textbooks and curriculum used in various countries found that countries that produced students who did better in science generally had a curriculum that covered less topics per year, but spent much more time on each topic. Students taught like that were found to develop better understanding of the concepts rather than the facts, to retain the information longer, and to be more able to apply it to other situations. Lehavdil there are some similarities to the Zilberman model.

    The point is not to go “slowly” and simply repeat everything numerous times (which would obviously be unfair to large numbers of students). The point is to build skills and knowledge in a systematic and developmentally appropriate way.

    truth be told — I have worked in education for many years and have yet to find the student who becomes a real behavior problem simply because they are too bright and suffer from boredom. Actually my experience has been that weaker students, especially those with disabilities are the most likely to exhibit behavioral problems. In my experience the only students who act out from boredom are those who either require a lot of stimulation (i.e. they are bored from the style of the class, not as a result of the content being too easy), or have ADHD type of attentional or impulse control issues (seen in areas other than academics as well).

    I’m not saying bright students are not bored — they often are, and I believe a teacher has as much of a responsibility towards the top students as towards the weaker ones. I am simply addressing what I think is the myth that the “boredom” of being “too smart” leads to behavioral issues. I would love to hear what other educators have observed.

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