Z has it closest especially for boys who slip behind girls in their development early on.
The problem arises in mental age versus physical age - not all kids develop mentally or physically at the same rate.
There are also social issues to take into account which are incredibly important to kids self esteem and social integration.
I have one of each each....so much for your parenting nonsense GT ....my daughter was skipped forward a grade and thrived - my son had a different set of challenges and is only now settling into synch with the educational system versus his age.
Another kid had the same mental acuity as my daughter -his mom - a teacher at the school kept him grade 5 instead of skipping ( she recommended Meghan skip ).
Why - he was physically very small and a skip from 4 to 6 plus his small size she felt would be intimidating.
EVERY kid is different.
This is one area where early edu can really help in that it can identify before the grade system those that are ahead on development and those that are not in synch with their age average development either socially or mentally.
THAT's the point, to hold a kid back THEN....as Z points out....especially with boys who are behind girls up to about Grade 9.
Failing a class I agree with when there is a makeup coourse available in the summer or after school. That sends a huge message without screwing up the critical peer relationships.
A happy, confident kid in an environment appropriate to their talent is an ideal goal rarely met as it's difficult to adjust a massive system to the individual child.
Observing parents CAN help adjust what level of challenge their child faces in school and balance out the pros and cons of any given change proposed.
The biggest imnpact parents have in my mind is fostering self esteem and confidence and providing early edu to get them off to the best possible start and give some assessment of where they are developmentally.
Boys pee the bed far longer than girls...that's innate not "learned". It's a different development stage and within each male or female broad category there is a wide variation of development pace mentally ( knowledge acquiring ) and socially as well as physical skills.
Failing a kid an entire grade is a step I think would rarely end in a positive outcome for the student. ( except perhaps a repeat of kindergarten for a "not ready" child.)
Repeating failed courses IS I think one tool that is useful.
This author has good points to make
How Children Fail
by John Holt
Reviewed by Kah Ying Choo
In his groundbreaking book, John Holt, draws upon his observations of children both in school and at play to identify ways in which our traditional educational system predestines our young people for failure.
Holt argues that children fail primarily "because they are afraid, bored, and confused." This, combined with misguided teaching strategies and a school environment that is disconnected from reality and "real learning", results in a school system that kills children’s innate desire to learn.
The following is a summary of the author’s conclusions:
1. Fear and failure: Schools promote an atmosphere of fear – fear of failure, fear of humiliation, fear of disapproval - that most severely affects a student's capacity for intellectual growth. External motivation – rewards such as grades and gold stars – reinforces children’s fears of failing exams and receiving disapproval from the adults in their lives. Rather than learning the actual content of the lessons, students learn how to avoid embarrassment. This atmosphere of fear not only quells a child's love of learning and suppresses his native curiosity, but also makes him afraid of taking chances and risks which may be necessary for true learning to occur.
There are more points he makes...this one in my mind could easily be extended to the age 5
From the time of birth until the age of three years, children have a "tremendous capacity for learning, understanding, and creating." Adults – either through their own actions, or through excessively dictating their children’s actions - destroy most of the this intellectual and creative capacity. Most frequently, we destroy this capacity by making our children afraid; afraid of being wrong. Holt’s examination of our present educational system is a critical and insightful study, one which forces us to look more closely at the lessons that we are unwittingly imparting to our young ones.
It takes a village........I suspect ECE intensive societies confront the "failing a grade" situation less often.
I also suspect a comparison of kids that failed a grade and went on to be criminals would be enlightening.
Criminals very often have low self esteem.
Using prospective data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study birth cohort, the authors found that adolescents with low self-esteem had poorer mental and physical health, worse economic prospects, and higher levels of criminal behavior during adulthood, compared with adolescents with high self-esteem. The long-term consequences of self-esteem could not be explained by adolescent depression, gender, or socioeconomic status. Moreover, the findings held when the outcome variables were assessed using objective measures and informant reports; therefore, the findings cannot be explained by shared method variance in self-report data. The findings suggest that low self-esteem during adolescence predicts negative real-world consequences during adulthood.