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    Joined: May 2014
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    Right. Our club team takes every one who can swim a twenty five yard free style and twenty five back stroke. But we don't group training by age (well we have a minimum for the senior level is 13 or sometimes, rarely a soon to be 13 year old but that has to do with burning the kid out). So when you test out from one group to the next is totally based on your speed of progression through the various skills and ability to make interval.

    The high school team accepts everyone. And due to lane scarcity it does bring down the level of workout. If you are a club swimmer chances are you are more advanced than 60 % of the team. My son's team says come to one practice a week with the team and then practice with your club so that you get harder workout.

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    Interesting discussion here. I know that comparing my gymnastics situation to public school is not the same. But it is still shockingly refreshing to me to see any adult be concerned that a child is not being challenged. I've not seen this anywhere (with the exception of tutors, but that's a one-on-one situation, so you don't have a group to hold anyone back). Just seeing this attitude is enough to make me feel happy. I've really only met teachers who frankly, don't care a fig about gifted kids. And at my gym, they are worried that the mommy and me classes might be "held back" on a snow day. Who cares if toddlers are being "held back"? They care, apparently.

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    Our karate dojo classes students:
    partly by age (especially with really young kids, and sometimes the adults don't want to be in a class with middle schoolers, but sometimes we do)
    but mainly by rank,
    and within rank by ability (because even at the Black belt level some excel and some don't, so the talented are invited to join the competition team or invited to help teach classes )
    and within abilities,by height for certain activities, so that someone 3'8" tall actually has a chance of delivering a blow to the stomach of an opponent, and so someone 5'10" can punch straight out and actually make contact.

    While there is an awareness of who the really talented students are, there is no angst about being "ahead" or "behind", just "what is your goal" and "what are you working on" . It would be nice if school were managed this way.

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    Having been married to a teacher of 31 years who teaches gifted children and teaches teachers differentiation, it's my opinion one of the largest issues in this problem is one that almost nobody ever discusses, the simple fact that teachers coming out of college have little or absolutely no training on the concept, let alone methodology, of differentiation. Even after a decade of teaching, one is lucky if they get half a dozen hours of in-service training. How good can we expect teachers to be at differentiation when it's not a topic the colleges and public schools think is worth training teachers in?

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    Quote
    But it is still shockingly refreshing to me to see any adult be concerned that a child is not being challenged. I've not seen this anywhere (with the exception of tutors, but that's a one-on-one situation, so you don't have a group to hold anyone back).

    Chess. My kids happen to attend a school that is pretty competitive on the national chess scene, so it might not be AS true elsewhere. But #1, you play at your ability level regardless of age (so, in K DS was regularly being matched with 4th and 5th graders by his coach), #2, there is virtually always room for growth, and #3, chess coaches, in my experience, are specifically looking to get your child to get to the next level and to see active growth. There is not much interest in treating everyone the same. Frankly, I find the atmosphere a little too intense, but if it's what you're looking for, chess is a good place to get it.

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    Reviving this old thread, as it shares an EXCELLENT observation, and one which may be especially beneficial to raise awareness of in today's educational climate which has a goal of "equal outcomes" for all pupils in an age cohort, rather than focusing on providing appropriate challenge and support to maximize the growth of each pupil, based on their ability and readiness.

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    This really is an excellent observation and I just do not understand it. All 3 of my DS play sports, and in sports there is no leveling the playing field: all of the kids are allowed to play at their ability, such that they receive a true challenge.However, in academics there is such a sentiment to level the playing field, even at the cost of meeting children's educational needs. I suspect that this is more of a US specific thing.

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