There is a positive correlation between teachers' higher expectations and higher student achievement. In other words, the more teachers expect from the students in their class the more the students rise to those expectations. I'm often asked by parents whether they should have their son or daughter go into a "lower level" math class than the one they are in. Most of the time I say that they should stay in the level they are in or go into a more advanced class not the other direction. Here's why: Not only are you in a more advanced class with higher expectations which will allow you to achieve more but you are often surrounded with students that are more interested in learning the subject matter and thus are placing yourself in a more conducive learning environment. Occasionally for some students this would be too much to ask of them, but for most they find that they just needed some incentive to step up their efforts, rise to the challenge and start to see that they themselves can be high achievers. Additionally, in the long run, I would rather see a student get a B in a more challenging course than an A+ in an easy class where they are repeating topics they have already covered. When students transition from elementary to middle school, or middle school to high school, or high school to college there is sometimes a subtle or not so subtle resistance to the increased expectations and time requirements to succeed in math. So, after going through the "growing pains" of these transitions then look forward to the growth.
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