School Streaming System Case Study

878 Words 4 Pages
In 1999, the Ministry of Education unveiled what was supposed to be a glowing and innovative advancement in Ontario’s education system. The new policy, Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9–12: Program and Diploma Requirement, was meant to update the previous three track system into two streams, Academic and Applied, to keep “options open for all students” so that “students are not required to make binding decisions about a particular educational and career path” . According to the policy, under the academic stream, “abstract applications of essential concepts” would be covered, while the applied stream would focus on “practical, concrete application of concepts.” Unfortunately, these objectives have been systematically obstructed under the …show more content…
More specifically, the majority of problems stem from its initial implementation – the requirement for all Grade 8 students to select their stream based on little but half-hearted, generalised recommendations. The current secondary school streaming system inhibits overall student success through both psychological and structural barriers, widening the education level disparity between academic and applied streams. The streaming system, although well-intentioned, has the potential to enact debilitating psychological impediments on a student’s sense of worth, hindering their success in the education system. According to the Fresh Starts and False Starts report compiled by Dr. Kate Tilleczek, Professor at the University of Prince Edward Island , the “physical, social and emotional processes are in flux and formation” for Grade 8 adolescents. This period coincides perfectly with the …show more content…
For example, if a student in the applied program wishes to transfer their courses to the academic stream, according to Annie Kidder of People for Education, “once they are in that applied stream…it’s very hard to get out .” This structural inflexibility requires succeeding students in the applied stream to repeat courses they have already taken in another stream, of which may not be economically feasible, as these applied students already “early on in their educational curricula are associated with larger socio-economic inequalities in secondary educational performance.” Furthermore, most university admissions in Canada require an academic level English credit, of which is not structurally possible if a student stays in the applied stream – which is more than likely – thereby limiting students to a college or trade-level post-secondary path. The structural barriers of the streaming system inhibit student success in secondary schools by creating a clear and gaping disparity between the two streams, as well as limit post-secondary

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