Thinking of Requesting a Specific Teacher for Your Child? Think Twice

The New York Times:

There are really two questions here, so I will address them in order. First question: How hard should you push to ensure your daughter is assigned to the teacher you feel is best for her?

School administrators had much to say on this topic. Most responded that “it never hurts to ask,” and encouraged parents with a preference to let administrators know about their preferences early in the process. All of the administrators, however, wanted parents to understand that not every request can be accommodated since “a class might be full or over-enrolled, the student’s schedule might preclude scheduling that class, or a host of other reasons.” A few mentioned specific policies, indicating that this is a topic that comes up often.

Traditionally, these styles or modes are classified as visual, auditory or kinesthetic. The idea is that people learn differently from one another and have a preferred style or mode, one that helps them learn more easily. Daniel Willingham, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia and author of “Why Don’t Students Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom” agrees that we all have our own particular mix of abilities and talents, but explains that there is no specific data to show that children learn better when information is delivered according to a preferred style or mode. In other words, we may have disparate abilities, but the mode through which information is delivered has no bearing on how well we learn that information.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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