ERIC Number: ED331005
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Three Reading Groups: An American Educational Tradition. Literacy Research Report No. 8.
Davis, Susan J.
Dividing elementary classrooms into three reading groups has become a U.S. educational tradition. Reading groups seem to have been an experiment in meeting the needs of students of different abilities, but the original caveats about flexible groups seem to have been forgotten. With the popularization of leveled basal readers, where changing groups means skipping or repeating a book, static reading groups have become the norm. Most children are placed in these groups during their primary years, usually in the first few weeks of first grade. Regardless of individual differences in growth, these students often remain in the same group for their elementary years. Educators need to think about ways to reverse the negative trends caused by ability grouping. For those educators who prefer to hold to the tradition of grouping yet want to make some positive changes, the following suggestions should be considered: (1) develop multiple criteria placement procedures; (2) reassess group placement throughout the year; (3) allow group changes during the year; (4) try to help poor readers move to at-level groups; (5) increase the amount of materials poor readers read; (6) reassess student placement at the end of each school year; and (7) change perceptions about the numbers of students in each group. (Eighty-two references and a literacy research and reports order form are attached.) (RS)
Descriptors: Ability Grouping, Classroom Environment, Educational History, Educational Trends, Elementary Education, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Reading Instruction, Student Needs
Northern Illinois University, The Reading Clinic, 119 Graham, DeKalb, IL 60115 ($3.50, postage included).
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb. Curriculum and Instruction Reading Clinic.
Identifiers: Educational Issues