ERIC Number: ED351808
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Nov-20
Alternative Uses of Ability Grouping: Can We Bring High-Quality Instruction to Low-Ability Classes? Final Deliverable.
Findings of a study that investigated whether or not ability grouping can be implemented more effectively are presented in this paper, with a focus on exploring possible instances of high quality instruction in low ability classes. Methodology involved observation, teacher questionnaires and interviews, student tests and questionnaires, and document analysis in 108 eighth- and ninth-grade English classes in 25 midwestern schools. The two schools that exhibited effective instruction in low-track classes were Catholic schools, which in general are characterized by an ethos of caring, academic rigor, and seriousness of purpose. Findings indicate that variability exists in the implementation of student grouping and that such differences are tied to student outcomes. Examples of effective uses of ability grouping for students in low-ranked classes in the two Catholic schools are presented. The two cases are characterized by: (1) high expectations by teachers; (2) extra exertion by teachers to foster extensive oral classroom discourse; and (3) no system for assigning weak or inexperienced teachers to lower tracks. A limitation of the study is that Catholic students tend to come from more economically advantaged backgrounds. One table is included. (Contains 25 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, Madison, WI.
Note: A revised version of a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).