ERIC Number: ED200617
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Ability Grouping: Why Do We Persist and Should We.
Froman, Robin D.
Research data on ability grouping collected from the 1920s on, with particular emphasis on the last two decades, are summarized. This review of the literature was originally intended to follow meta-analysis procedures, but that type of analysis had to be abandoned because only 11 of the 20 research studies published in the 1920s used any form of control group. Things improved only slightly by the 1970s with two thirds of the major studies of ability grouping in the United States using some form of control group. Unfortunately, the control groups were often intact schools with numerous between school differences in both student and teacher populations. Other characteristics of the quantitative literature which preclude a valid meta-analysis approach are undefined or inconsistent criteria for forming ability groups, undefined, vague or single-study unique criteria for comparing grouped and non-grouped classes, and combining treatment (grouped) and not-treatment (no ability grouping) conditions for individual children. In addition, a great many of the important articles on ability grouping are qualitative and based upon subjective rather than objective data. Along with a tabular summary of the quantitative studies, an overview of qualitative studies and discussions of ability grouping are presented. (Author/RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (65th, Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).