ERIC Number: ED322565
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Achievement Effects of Ability Grouping in Secondary Schools: A Best-Evidence Synthesis.
Slavin, Robert E.
A "best evidence" review synthesis, which incorporates features of meta-analytic and traditional literature reviews, is used in this review of studies on the effects of ability grouping on secondary school students' achievement. The focus was on 29 studies that compared between-class ability grouping to heterogeneous placements. Effect sizes were used to characterize study results. Findings indicate that comprehensive between-class ability grouping plans, different forms of ability grouping, and ability grouping by subject (except in social studies) had no effect on student achievement. The finding of zero effects of grouping for all ability levels contradicts earlier conclusions that demonstrated benefits of ability grouping for high-level students and detriments for low-level students. Explanations for this discrepancy are discussed. An implication is that policy decisions about ability grouping must be based on criteria other than effect on academic achievement. A recommendation is made for reduction of between class ability grouping practices and consideration of cooperative learning methods. An extensive bibliography and statistical tables are included. (LMI)
Descriptors: Ability Grouping, Academic Achievement, Effect Size, Literature Reviews, Meta Analysis, Secondary Education, Secondary School Students, Student Evaluation, Student Placement, Track System (Education)
Document Service, National Center on Effective Secondary Schools, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, 1025 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706 ($7.00 prepaid).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Effective Secondary Schools, Madison, WI.