Download Ability Grouping in Education by Judith Ireson PDF

By Judith Ireson

Skill Grouping in schooling offers an summary of skill grouping in schooling. The authors reflect on selective education and skill grouping inside faculties, comparable to streaming, banding atmosphere and within-class grouping.

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This trend was evident in both mathematics and reading, with pupils in remedial classes losing a great deal of ground, while those in high ability groups increased their average performance. Kerckhoff concluded that there were positive effects of ability grouping on academic achievement. His research is often cited in the American literature as demonstrating clear, positive effects of ability grouping on academic achievement. His analysis has been criticised by Slavin (1990a), however, on the grounds that there were significant pre-test differences between pupils in the different types of school that could not be sufficiently controlled by the use of covariance techniques.

He concluded that the most pervasive finding was the risk of lowered teacher expectations for pupils in low sets and streams. Lacey (1970) also found that pupils in the top group received more attention and resources, leading to higher levels of achievement, and that this had negative effects on children in the lower groups. His research was undertaken in a selective grammar school in which pupils were streamed. In addition, a follow-up study, after the school had introduced mixed ability grouping, showed that the attainment of the most able pupils was unaffected by the change, whereas the attainment of the less able pupils improved (Lacey, 1974).

In addition, Stipek and Daniels (1988) suggest that teachers provide children with more normative feedback, comparing their performance with others in their year group, as they get older and approach transfer to secondary school. Academic achievement, gender and pupils’ self-concepts It is often assumed that academic achievement and perceptions of self are strongly related. Although this relationship is supported by research evidence, in some cases, the relationships are quite weak. This is especially true of earlier research using measures that were much less valid and reliable than those used in more recent work (Byrne, 1996).

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