Academic V. Honors
In high school, students typically get more choice in what classes they want to take but also the level of the course. Most high schools offer at least two levels of courses, honors and academic. This is understandable in terms of differentiated instruction, and allows for students to grow. However, doesn’t this choice label the students into those whom are smart and those who are average. Let me ask you, Is this something that is beneficial to the students? From an educators standpoint, this is beneficial for the growth of students intellectual capability, but for parents and students it really signals them out.
Now imagine the same labels in a Middle School setting. The school district in which I will be student teaching at offers honors and academic classes. Let me ask you another question. Do you think it is appropriate to offer this classes in Middle School? Personally, I like the fact that the students have a choice, but a the same time, there are students in the honors class that should not be. There are students in the academic class that need a practical level class to be successful.
I really believe that honors should be left for high schools, when the students have a better foundation of the material they learning. While choice is important in schools they also need to be practical for the majority of students. Middle School students do not have a solid foundation for learning yet and are still trying to discover who they are and how they learn best. I believe that practical and academic sources are more better suited for middle school students so a solid foundation can be built and the students can flourish in high school. In reality, what is the difference between honors and academic? Is it the difficulty of work? The speed of the class? In my placement, the difference is merely in name only, I have yet to observe how the honors classes work and exams are different from those of the academic students.