Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Edcha##er

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Edcha##er

Article excerpt

Every week, we bring you the most interesting discussion, debate and issues from around the web and around the world by focusing on the most popular educational hashtags on Twitter

In years to come, future generations may look back on 20th- and 21st-century schools and wonder where our mania for grouping children by age came from. Either that, or workplaces could evolve to be rigidly divided according to employees' year of birth.

Introducing an #edchat on whether students learn best alongside peers of their own age or whether they should instead be taught by ability, @tomwhitby asked: "If grouping kids by age is only necessary for record keeping and not learning, why not consider alternatives more in line with learning?"

But children define themselves by their age, according to @andrewf98, who said: "Age groups are important, as are gender groups and culture groups. Grouping helps students understand who they are and what they face." Distinctions based on age continue long after school, he added.

Age is more than just a number, said @kafkat. It is an indication of what stage children are at. "Solely age grouping - no," she said. "But to a simplified point, age is brain-development grouping."

Just because children are of a similar age does not mean they will function well in the same class, according to @saratruebridge. …

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