With several students and teachers out last week with symptoms of the flu, our elementary students all crowded together for main lesson. While combining ages poses some pedagogical challenges, there is so much richness and connection that comes from having a chance to see how those older and younger than you learn. It was wonderful!
The practice of grouping students into grades based on their age during the school year is quite new in education. It developed after the Industrial Revolution as a way to ease the administrative burdens of educating large groups of students in rapidly expanding cities.
Although there are pedagogically sound reasons for such a division, they don't tell the whole story of education, and much is lost when we make assumptions that all children are developmentally ready for the same materials and experiences at the same time.
At The Garden School, small classes and caring, highly-trained teachers allow us to understand and meet the needs of all our students regardless of their age, and to feel confident that each of them is developing according to their best potential.