Should students be grouped by their academic ability? I share my thoughts in this model Task 2 essay…

Some people believe that schools should group their pupils according to academic ability.  Others believe students should be grouped together regardless of academic ability.  Write an essay supporting one side of this debate.

The classmates a student interacts with on a day-to-day basis make up an important part of their academic experience.  Many believe that a pupil’s learning is enhanced when students of varying academic skill surround them.  However, I argue that a student benefits most through regular interaction with students of similar intellectual potential.  This will be shown by looking at how such an arrangement both poses healthy challenges to students and refrains from holding students back in their academic pursuits.

Firstly, by grouping students based intellectual strength, a classroom can provide an environment that engages young people at a level equal to their ability.  Take language learning as an example.  If a highly skilled language student is placed in the same classroom as a beginner, the class atmosphere is beneficial to neither.  Further, it would be impossible for the teacher of this class to provide challenging material that caters to both student levels.  Thus, the merits of classroom groupings based on skill level can be seen.

Secondly, intellectually superior students placed with less capable students may be held back in their studies.  For example, Canadian public school systems do not categorize students based on their strengths, instead favouring to amalgamate all pupils into one collective class.  Under such an arrangement it unfortunately becomes all too common for gifted students to be held back in their studies as their classmates struggle to understand basic concepts.  As this example shows, arranging students by intelligence should be supported.

Following this look at class structure, it can be concluded that education systems that discriminate between strong and weak students are beneficial to pupils as a whole.  I hope these sorts of classroom arrangements return to popularity in the years to come.


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