Wintermute here bringing you your Daily Dose of Dumbr.
Today I want to talk to about something called Gate Cluster, it’s a program used in a San Diego school that was adapted from some Asian practices. Basically you take the best and brightest students from multiple classes and even grades and combine them all into one class. Meaning this one class has 4th, 5th, and 6th graders all piled in.
This was an experiment class that came from wanting the best of all the students. They noticed that the highest ranking students all dropped out and/or would continuously cause trouble in school. Obviously this comes from being bored and not feeling challenged. So they decided to implement this Gate Cluster program in hopes of bringing a challenge to all the students. At first they were worried that the older students would bully or make fun of the under classmen, but much to their surprise the upper classmen enjoyed helping and instructing the slower 4th graders.
The class is set up in a very group oriented manner, typically groups are split by grades but there are times when they can integrate the students’ grades, or just do independent projects. The way the teacher runs the class is she spends the first half hour teaching only to the 6th graders, the next half hour is for the 5th graders and then the last half hour goes to the 4th graders.
I’m curious to know your thoughts on Gate Clustering, if you think it’s good or bad. If you think whether or not it should be implemented in more classrooms, why or why not?