Is there a case for “voluntary retention”?

An article in The Atlantic discusses a trend towards “voluntary retention” at critical times in a student’s education, such as kindergarten,  middle school, and after high school graduation.  The theory is that the extra  year at key times gives a child more time to develop their executive functioning skills and maturity.  Although the literature on retention is overwhelmingly negative, proponents of this approach indicate that the difference in success here is the voluntary nature of the retention rather than it being forced on a student.  What are your thoughts?

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1 Response to “Is there a case for “voluntary retention”?”


  1. 1 Joseph S June 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Sort of fascinating as some of the same old ideas refuse to disappear. They keep on coming back with some new twists of terminology. But we still hear about neurodevelopment, brain functioning as Executive functioning, and now voluntary retention sounding as if it were tied into intrinsic motivation or self-determination.

    Or, perhaps I’m hallucinating!


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