Ideally, every child should benefit from an education that has been custom tailored to fit his or her individual and unique needs. The problem with education, however, lies in the need for institutionalized educational systems which are more geared toward mass teaching rather than one-on-one training, resulting in the grouping of children primarily based on their skill level and capabilities.
Labeling children not only creates differing stereotypes among the child’s peers, allowing some children to be classified as “nerdy” due to performance while others are classified as “learning disabled” simply because they have a disadvantage to overcome before reaching their full potentials. These labels can often become the root for self-fulfilling prophecies among the student as well. If a child is told that he is learning “disabled” or “disadvantaged” he will imagine that his disadvantage stays with him eternally, and many children even cling to these labels, never pushing themselves beyond their preconceived boundaries and comfort zones.
Each child is unique hand has individual strengths and weaknesses that most parents, teachers, and other guardians are fully aware of if they spend enough time with him or her. However, these strengths and weakness are sometimes confined within mass educational systems. In many cases, children who have completely normal rates of development are sometimes isolated in special needs courses, which not only have negative effects on the child, but can also inhibit their potential.
I am a firm believer in early education, and have always supported families who begin actively teaching their children as soon as conception as some studies have found that fetuses are susceptible to certain forms of stimulation within the womb which will increase their intelligence in life. However, I do believe that children should be evaluated based on reasonable criteria. If school systems begin labeling, classifying, and grouping individual students too early in their academic careers, the consequences will most certainly be more negative than positive.