Changing the Class Dynamic

By Brian Freedman — October 15, 2007 1 min read
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Teachers in Loudoun County, Va., decided to stir the status quo by mixing honors, regular, and special education students in the same class.
Three teachers at Blue Ridge Middle School in Purcellville, Va., hope to inspire the “slower-developing students to see new possibilities,” school administrators said in a Washington Post article by Jay Matthews.

“It’s more challenging for the kids,” said Inez Lemmert, a sixth-grade teacher of the class. “They bring themselves up to these new expectations, rather than someone dumbing down all the work for them.”

The experiment is taking place in an English- and social studies-infused class, where the teachers parallel studies of literature and history.

This nontraditional concept of fusing the two subjects helps make the lessons seem more practical in the everyday world, suggests Pat Graff, a National Council of Teachers of English expert on combining subjects, in the Post article. It also cuts down on the number of teachers the students have to see each day.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.