What is the impact of social promotion to students when they get to high school?

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By Kelsey Young

          Friends are an important part of everyday life; they make you feel wanted and loved. Surely it would be cruel to wrench a young child away from their friends by holding them back a year so they can meet the necessary outcomes for their grade. What's a worse fate, having to make new friends or quite possibly being set up for failure in the coming years?

Social promotion is far from ideal, but it's not all bad. It saves the child from feeling bad about themselves, if not passing is their fault, but this is not the only situation involved. For a child who simply doesn't try hard enough or refuses to, it sends a bad message. No need to try, I'll pass no matter what. If a child is promoted and they later start to drown under the pressure of school work, the blame does not rest on their shoulders alone. It is unfair to send them to the next grade knowing full well that they didn't pass the previous one and it hardly inspires a sense of pride in a child.

Not being ready for the next grade, whether in knowledge or work ethic is inviting failure at the high school level. Having the skills but not being willing to work or vice versa in high school is not a recipe for success. Social promotion does no favour to those who are continually promoted.

With so many students moving to other provinces to attend universities and petty adolescent fights, it's unlikely that being separated from their social group would have a huge impact on a child. Real friends don't just disappear. The real hardship students’ face due to social promotion is being blindsided by what lay ahead of them once they get to high school, but at least they've still got their friends.

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, North America, Europe Canada

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Recent comments

  • Interesting
    June 22, 2014 - 09:48

    Very well written article and surprised people have not commented. Students should be judged on merit just as employees are done. In years past it was known that study was necessary and we worked harder to be sure we weren't left behind... This social practice might even be a major reason our education system is failing our students.

  • Interesting
    June 22, 2014 - 09:44

    Very well written article and surprised people have not commented. Students should be judged on merit just as employees are done. In years past it was known that study was necessary and we worked harder to be sure we weren't left behind... This social practice might even be a major reason our education system is failing our students.