ERIC Number: ED143749
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: N/A
The Controversy Over Ability Grouping in American Education, 1916-1970.
McDermott, John W., Jr.
This study traces the controversy over the classification of children according to their ability from its origins in the development of the mental testing movement after 1916. The campaign to organize the schools largely on the basis of standardized tests of intelligence drew substantial support after 1920 from the development of research bureaus in city school systems. Many prominent figures in organizations traditionally associated with progressive education contributed to the decline in popularity of ability grouping between 1930 and 1950. In spite of this fact, the practice remained widespread in part because of the economic pressures on schools during the Depression. Concern about the need to promote the development of talented youth led to renewed interest in the practice of ability grouping after 1950. By 1960 however, concern about the affective consequences of classification along with renewed interest in creativity once again raised the question of ability grouping. After 1960, this criticism was reinforced by the implementation of compensatory education and desegregation. By 1970 ability grouping had become associated with the denial of educational opportunity. (Author/AM)
Descriptors: Ability Grouping, Academic Ability, Doctoral Dissertations, Educational Philosophy, History, Standardized Tests, Testing
University Microfilms, Dissertation Copies, P.O. Box 1764, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48106
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Order No. 76-22,056