Gladwell was right! Read his popular book on “outliers”. Every teacher needs to understand this theory, which seems to be born out by the reference below.
You’ve heard it before. Think hockey. The kids born in January are bigger, and get picked first for shinny. They start to not only think of themselves as better, they are better as they get more ice time than their younger, smaller buddies. Since they’re better, they get offered special camps, which further affects their trajectory. Etc!
Are you labeling some kids bright, or slow in your head? How does it affect your interaction with them? Do some get special opportunities, only to further separate themselves from the rest of the class? Perhaps this is appropriate to some degree, but we need to understand the process, and the difference in life paths…
Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: the story of success. New York: Little Brown and Company.
Zoega, H., Valdimarsdottir,UA., Hernandez-Diaz,S. (2012, Dec.) Young relative age in the class is associated not only with lower mathematics and language scores, but increases by 50% the likelihood of being prescribed stimulants between 7-14. Age, Academic Performance, and Stimulant Prescribing for ADHD: A Nationwide Cohort Study. Pediatrics. 130(6) 1012-8. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-0689.