,At the February 2016 Aquinas Teaching & Learning Conference, and at the NWCCC Teaching & Learning Conference in June 2016, I suggested that we should always aim to 'teach to the top'.
As the current academic year has progressed, I am even more convinced that this is what we should do. There are a number of key reasons for this:
1. ALL our students are challenged. If we do anything other than 'teach to the top', we do our most able students a disservice.
2. The Pygmalion effect: students learn and achieve more when more is expected of them!
3. If high standards and expectations are set, high level work is more likley to be produced.
4. Teaching to the top is compatible with Growth Mindset. If we offer students the option of completing work based on their perception of their own ability, many students will , for a multitude of reasons, set their own bar too low.