School A or School B?

If you had to choose between sending your own young child to primary School A or School B, which would you choose?

School A and School B are identical in every way – apart from one significant difference.

Primary (Elementary) School A has a traditional setup with the main ‘Homeroom Teacher’ being responsible for teaching most of the learning content. Students have the same teacher for a whole year.

School B, is different because teachers are specialized in their fields and students rotate through highly trained, content-experts. For example, Maths is taught by specialists maths teachers and reading and writing skills are taught by teachers with a Masters or PhD in English.

If you were a parent whose primary concern was the wellbeing and social-emotional development of your child, which school should you choose? What about if you were a parent whose primary concern was the academic development of your child, which school then?

The answer to both questions, according to a 2018 study from Harvard University, is School A. In a very interesting and telling experiment, students who, for two years, were taught by a variety of expert teachers rather than a single homeroom teacher performed worse academically and showed more serious behavioural problems.

This is yet another piece of empirical evidence highlighting what we all know, but sometimes forget: we teach children…not content. Nothing matters more than our relationship with each student.

Published by

David Bott

Hi, I'm David Bott, Associate Director of the Institute of Positive Education in Australia.

One thought on “School A or School B?”

Comments are closed.