ERIC Number: ED327833
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reading Groups: Problems, Solutions.
The practice of grouping children of similar ability for reading instruction is as much a part of the classroom as the chalkboard, yet for decades research into classroom practice has raised serious questions about ability grouping. A research project using the meta-analysis approach to analyze more than 50 research studies concluded that ability grouping does not enhance student achievement in the elementary school. Some teachers have used the traditional high, average, and low ability reading groups simply to be able to manage the classroom. A variety of alternative grouping procedures are widely practiced in classrooms for math, social studies, and science, but rarely for reading. It is almost as if reading is too important to tamper with, so teachers and administrators feel constrained to stick to familiar, if less effective, practice. Teachers should vary their grouping arrangements as they move toward whole group instruction and away from the traditional three ability groups. The great need is for balance across classroom grouping arrangements, not a wholesale abandonment of small group instruction in favor of whole groups. The problem of ability grouping can be solved with a careful use of a variety of grouping strategies including whole group instruction, teacher-led and peer-led small group instruction and careful selection of individual learning activities. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association (36th, Las Vegas, NV, May 6-10, 1991).