The interesting thing about the education field is that it is continuously evolving in its method to try to improve, just like many other industries. Teacher ‘looping’ may be one way for Canadian schools to face the challenges of today’s students. This method of teaching means keeping the same teacher with a grouped classroom throughout multiple grade levels. It has both pros and cons that we’ll discuss in this article.
Many theories of education are out there, and all of them contribute to the thought that leadership and progression are needed in ensuring positive outcomes for future generations. As society changes and learns more about child development, its education needs to change too.
And it’s not always the case that one-size-fits-all: both in terms of the individual child, school or society the education system operates in. So we will emphasize our belief that the teacher ‘looping’ strategy is an idea for discussion, but not necessarily a method that all schools must adapt.
Some background on why teacher ‘looping’ should be discussed more often
Why even talk about teacher ‘looping’? Isn’t our education system facing enough challenges and changes? Aren’t enough experts tasked with improving education outcomes already? Didn’t B.C. just implement a new curriculum update?
The above is all true. However, we found it hard to find many schools in Canada that use ‘looping’. However, it’s apparently more common in Europe, and is being adapted as an innovative strategy in the U.S. It’s also used in a large way by Waldorf schools, which keep the same teacher with a class for most of the elementary grades.
It’s not that no one in Canada knows or talks about the subject, but it may be something for more educators to become aware of.
Canadian schools face challenges that teacher ‘looping’ may help
Today, we’re living in a country that faces challenges in our schools such as:
- Increasing diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and other special needs.
- At-risk youth living in underprivileged households, or from families with uneducated backgrounds, which then make it hard to keep up with schooling.
- Larger classroom sizes and volatile funding for schools (though one report says otherwise).
- Large diversity of students facing newly acknowledged identities, such as being labelled as LGBTQ, holding a set of not-commonly-Western religious beliefs, being ‘gifted,’ and so on.
- Students coming and going from the public school system that vary in education backgrounds, such as homeschooling, alternate education, private schooling.
And possibly more.
So when you have these above considerations in a classroom, it can be hard, by the experience of some teachers, to benefit all the students. By nature, their learning needs will be different, and could take more time as a whole than would otherwise be the case. This is because relationship-building, and understanding individual students is important to the process of education.
Stay tuned for our future article that outlines the pros and cons of teacher ‘looping’ for education in Canada.