How Does Streaming Affect Students?

Streaming affects students in several different ways. This includes course-by-course streaming, social divide, and drop-out rates.

Course-by-course Streaming

Streaming for educational purposes is a process by which students are grouped based on their perceived academic ability and then tracked to courses within the same school. It has become an increasingly common practice in educational systems throughout the world. Research on the effects of streaming has been limited but has revealed some adverse effects.

Streaming has been found to negatively affect lower-stakes students, who are less likely to complete their studies. It has also increased inequalities between students, especially those from different socioeconomic backgrounds. There is a need for a greater understanding of the effects of streaming and practical strategies to address these effects.

Course-by-course streaming is standard in the United States and the United Kingdom. This practice places students based on their performance and perceived ability. It is also common in Australia and has been a significant part of the UK educational system for many years.


Image Source: Pexels

Course-by-course streaming has been criticized for disproportionately affecting lower-stakes students. This has been a point of contention for many years. In 1997, the Ministry of Education acknowledged community concerns about the structure of secondary streaming in Ontario. It admitted that streamers were intended to accommodate students in the classroom. Still, they needed to ensure that students from all socioeconomic backgrounds were provided with equal opportunities.

The Ontario Ministry of Education proposed an Ontario Education Equity Action Plan (OEEPA) address the systemic barriers to student achievement. It offers a renewed approach to Grade 9 to support all students to achieve their full potential.

Social Divide

Streaming is a method of using the internet to watch television shows. These services are becoming very popular. They allow viewers to watch countless series. Unfortunately, this leads to competition and a loss of societal bonds.

A digital divide is a social issue affecting both developed and developing nations. It is the difference in access to ICTs, hardware, and software. These are essential needs that are not available to some people. These inequalities can cause economic and political exclusion.

Broadband access is essential for inclusivity. It can provide individuals with the ability to achieve their interests and contribute to the good of society.

Digital proficiency is a learning process that enables individuals to understand and use new technologies. It is shaped by demographic profile and education level. However, digital proficiency is only as good as the actual use of the internet.

The digital access index measures the overall ability of a country’s citizens to use it. It considers several factors, including quality, affordability, and accessibility. It also takes into account the various variables that influence usage.

Drop-out Rate

Streaming students have a lower drop-out rate than non-streaming students. However, the effects of streaming could be clear-cut. Many factors contribute to the drop-out rate.

The main factor contributing to the drop-out rate is economical. Students have to sacrifice their earnings for schooling. The rising tuition rates outpace the increasing costs of living. Some students have to drop out due to the lack of financial aid.

Another reason for the high drop-out rate of students in tech studies is the high tuition costs. Moreover, students must take remedial courses, which add to the tuition costs. Hence, students have to delay their graduation.

The government introduced the Revised Secondary Education System in 1978. It was later replaced by subject-based banding. However, the stream system needed to provide students with various subject options. It did not allow for inter-stream mobility.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that it would scrap the streaming system by 2024. However, there were concerns that this would not solve the social divide. Some students had to drop out of school indefinitely.

Aside from the economic factors, the drop-out rate was affected by socio-cultural factors. In addition, the stream system needed sophisticated mechanisms to identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses.

The stream system also had a stigma attached to it. A student with great potential in a subject could be placed in a lower-ability stream. This stigma demoralized students. It also hindered students from changing their aspirations.

Quality of Education

Streaming is a method of grouping students into classes by their ability. This can be used for all instruction or a particular subject. The idea is that streamed students will be better able to learn with others of their ability. However, the results from studies are mixed.

Some studies have shown that streaming has a positive impact on student achievement. Others show that it hurts lower-achieving students. Streaming can create negative self-fulfilling prophecies for disadvantaged students.

Lower-attaining students in streams and sets make less progress than students in mixed-ability classes. Streaming is also more likely to increase racial segregation within a school. This can lead to more disciplinary problems in lower-level courses.

Some argue that streaming promotes healthy competition and increases motivation. However, others contend that it can lead to a social disadvantage for certain groups of students. There is also evidence to suggest that streaming-only benefits a subset of students.

Streamed students are also known as tracking students. This can be problematic for lower-attaining students because they need to keep up with the other students in the class.


About Author
Rajan is a technology blogger. He loves to blog about blogging, business, gadgets, social media, latest tech news and windows .