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Research Project: Mixed-ability Grouping vs. Ability Grouping

Discussion in 'Primary' started by nfb, May 11, 2011.

  1. nfb


    Hello, I am a second year Early Childhood Studies student, currently undertaking a research project. The title of my research is: "Evidence suggests that mixed-ability grouping, rather than ability grouping, is beneficial for children in primary schools. Why, then, do practitioners continue to group their classes by ability?"

    I was hoping to use this forum to gather a wider view of teachers' perspectives on grouping children in primary schools, and so would be very grateful to anybody who responds to this post. The questions I am asking are:

    1. Do you use ability groups in your classroom?

    2. If yes, why? (The reasons may be due to factors out of your control, ie. conforming to the ethos of the school, or through your own choice)

    3. If no, why not?

    4. What are your opinions on the benefits of mixed-ability grouping?

    Thank you for your time, Naomi Bolton
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Someone asked this exact same question just a few weeks ago. Worded it almost the same as you have as well. Could even have been you, no idea. But a quick search will show you the thread and you can use those responses.
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    because I find it benefits all abilities to work together (I seem to remember research shows that high ability pupils gain most from being taught in a mixed ability group??) also good for self esteem and attitudes.
  4. 1. I use mixed ability grouping in some lessons: Literacy, Numeracy (and we set by ability) and for other lessons where I don't have a TA or where there will be a lot of reading.
    2. I use mixed ability grouping to ensure that activities are appropriate to ability and so that I can direct help and support to those who need it.
    3. n/a
    4. I use mixed ability groups for all other lessons to enable the children to sit with their friends and to ensure balanced groups within the class. At the moment, my class sit in friendship seats for the afternoons and they have all chosen a partner with whom they can discuss their work and get along well with. Generally, the pairs are of a similar ability but then each table of 6 has a good range of children. No group has all SEN or high ability children and boys and girls are mixed, although each pair is same sex. I enjoy mixed ability groups as they have lively discussions and the less able aren't iintimidated by the more able but they do enjpy listening to their ideas and tend to join in discussions more than when they sit in an ability group. The more able support the less able really well in my class (they are truly lovely Y4s!) and encourage them to have a go and join in.

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