During the 2014-15 school year, I taught 8th, 9th, and 10th-grade history. I noticed my 8th-grade class was more successful than my 9th and 10th-grade classes. Interestingly. the 8th-grade curriculum was my least favorite of the three.
I strongly believe the reason for my 8th-grade students' success was their heterogeneous composition. The class included students with learning needs, English Language Learners, students with average grades, and honor roll students. The 9th and 10th-grades had honors classes. So the classes I taught were essentially segregated.
Let's fully embrace growth mindset and ditch honors classes!
After 10th grade, students who want a deeper challenge should be able to enroll in AP courses without barriers to entry and appropriate support.
Educators talk a lot about growth mindset but do our practices truly reflect it?