Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Middle School Heterogeneous Grouping
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Author:  Lori Standish [ Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Middle School Heterogeneous Grouping

This article made lots of good points about the benefits of heterogeneous grouping and the disadvantages of ability grouping. For example students need to be able to successfully interact with an increasingly heterogeneous society. This is very true. I agree with the author's points if ability grouping is the only way students are taught all the way through middle school. There needs to be a balance of heterogeneous and ability grouping. Some ability grouping is advantageous to students. How can teaching to a student's level be a bad thing? As along as their are times of hetergeneous groupings and high expectations for all.

Author:  Anna Page [ Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

Lori, I agree with you. I feel that there must be a good balance between both teaching philosophies. I find it very interesting that there is not a lot of research about the advantages of ability grouping. We ability group for EVERYTHING at my school. I do not quite agree with that. If it we just grouped for reading and math I could understand, but we even group for writing. We waste a lot of time during the day just getting the students to the right teacher. Also, scheduling is an absolute nightmare. It is hard to get every child right where they need to be and it gets even harder when you have to move students up or down. However, I agree 100% that students need to taught on their instructional level. Ability grouping does make that much easier. I also think that each group should be taught the same skills and strategies, only at the apporopriate level.

Author:  Lisa Wade [ Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:06 pm ]
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Ability grouping does have its ups and downs. One thing that the article mentioned is that groups should never be permanent. Most of the times I worry that my EC kids get stuck in the low groups because they are EC, regardless of their disability. However, I work with fantastic teachers who see the true child, outside of the disability, and challenge all of my kids. It really is tough to deal with those lower groups because that is usually where the behaviors are--and typically, they have behavior problems because they don't get the material, even in the lowest group. Ability grouping can be great, but it has to be done appropriately and flexibly.

Author:  Mitzi Story [ Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:59 pm ]
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I fully agree that ability groups should be fluid. Teachers should constanly evauate how each individual child is progressing though the curriculum and make needed adjustments. From what I observe concerning ability groups, most situations do not seem to change very much at all. I worry that some students are getting locked into a group that will never be seen as having much potential. This could have lasting effects on their future plans for employment and happiness. As administrators and teachers we must always consider how our decisions may effect our students.

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