October 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
Disclaimer: This is probably considered a rant, so bear with me.
A few days ago my brother came home with a paper from his middle school math teacher informing my parents about the “challenge homework” that the class offered. My mother was furious that my brother had not been recommended by the teacher to complete these assignments.
Before I go any further I should clarify that I absolutely despise math, but my brother is definitely an aspiring engineer. Personally, I’ve been an avid fan of English since the fourth grade.
As an English lover, this incident got me thinking. Why are these middle schoolers even offered math “challenge homework” in the first place? This special homework never is offered in English or history, but always seems to be an option in math classes.
At a very young age these kids are already being separated in to “good at math” and “bad at math.” While I’m sure that these extra assignments are very beneficial to those who fall under the “good at math” category, what do the “good at English” kids get? Or the “good at history” students? These math challenge assignments only provide a false sense of entitlement. Meanwhile, the students who do not excel in math feel inferior.
Categorizing at such a young age puts kids in a box. Who is to say that just because a kid is not great at math in seventh grade means that he does not stand a chance?