Friday, December 4, 2015

Why Are You Splitting Up These Twins?

New York had an article earlier this fall about a Long Island school with eleven sets of twins in kindergarten. Go look at it; it's basically an excuse for a bunch of cute pictures. What drew my attention, however, was this quote from the principal:

Ellen Postman, the school’s principal...split up all the siblings into separate classes, encouraging them to make new friends rather than lean on each other. “And then,” she adds, “they’re together at recess, when they go out to the playground, and they can share their new relationships.”

See, here's the thing. That's a nice theory.  But we did a lot of reading before putting our twins in kindergarten, and it's simply not true. On balance, twins in kindergarten do better in the same class. Now, if you're reading this and are thinking, "my twins did better in separate classes," well, yes, I said "on balance." It makes sense to make decisions based on the individual needs of twins. Let me give you a ranking of how well-placed people are to evaluate those needs:
  1. The twins themselves
  2. The twins' parents
  3. Teachers
  4. Principals 
It's revealing that this is also a ranking of how likely people are to think that twins should be in the same class.

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