ERIC Number: ED208530
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
The Tasks of Teaching Classes of Varied Group Composition.
Evertson, Carolyn M.; Hickman, Randall C.
Research in classrooms must be sensitive to new dimensions of teaching tasks that emerge at the group level. There are at least two tasks that can be identified as being affected by changes in group characteristics. The first task is to set the stage--the teacher must establish the proper context or setting to support academic activities. The second task is to instruct. The data reported here is from a subsample of 16 junior high school mathematics and English classes. The classes were categorized into three groups--extremely heterogeneous, homogeneous with high ability, and homogeneous with low ability. The heterogeneous classes pose problems because teachers must plan and execute instructions so that all students are provided with a focus for their behavior throughout the class or period while the teacher must differentiate instruction to meet widely differing needs. In the high ability group, the teacher must use group characteristics to maximize the amount of academically engaged time while minimizing the intrusion of the needs for social organization. The low ability group poses serious problems both in setting the stage and in instructing. Teachers often accept less desirable forms of participation in an attempt to maintain some student involvement in classroom activities. (Author/IRT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Texas Univ., Austin. Research and Development Center for Teacher Education.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).