ERIC Number: ED304784
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Teacher Response to Proposed Changes in Grouping: Impact on Policy and Practice.
Anderson, Carolyn S.; Barr, Rebecca
Grouping for instruction has characteristics that make existing structures, habits, and attitudes resistant to change. This case study accordingly describes a school district located 40 miles south of Chicago in which attempts were made to change attitudes about, and the practice of, instructional grouping over a 3-year period. Two ways are highlighted in which staff interest and involvement were solicited in the change process: formal feedback and pilot projects. The paper begins with a brief description of the district and a summary of the project. The subsequent section focuses primarily on teacher attitudes and fears that were expressed in the opportunities for feedback to the Program Council. These concerns included the belief that heterogeneous grouping is bad for students, that heterogeneous classes are larger than ability grouped classes, that the current curriculum "fits" ability grouping, that popular instructional strategies "fit" ability grouping, that school conditions will supersede any guidelines, that changed grouping requires retraining, that grouping guidelines would eliminate transitional grades, and that placement or reevaluation requires time and tools. The next section describes a series of pilot projects that were developed to explore alternative grouping strategies: seventh- and eighth-grade math level reduction; ninth-grade science level reduction; high school English shift from basic to regular; ninth-grade language arts basic level enrichment; ninth-grade movement from prealgebra to algebra; fifth-grade cooperative learning; sixth-grade team teaching; and a fifth-grade reading-as-thinking project. Conclusions from the study are enumerated, and references follow. (TE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).