ERIC Number: ED380783
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Mar-30
Reference Count: N/A
Ability Grouping for Elementary Reading Instruction and Its Relationship to the Balanced Literacy Approach.
Strech, Lorie L.
This paper discusses implications of ability grouping in elementary reading instruction according to current research, and how such research can be applied to the classroom practice of "guided reading" within a balanced literacy program. The paper suggests that the "balanced literacy" approach from New Zealand is basically the same as whole language with the added component of guided reading, in which students are placed in homogeneous ability groups. The paper discusses definitions; presents a history of the balanced literacy approach and ability grouping in reading instruction; addresses issues, controversies, programs, and contributors; and offers a synthesis and analysis of existing research. The paper concludes that (1) there is not adequate evidence to apply all of the findings of research on ability grouping in traditional classrooms to the type of ability grouping in traditional classrooms; (2) the balanced literacy approach appears to be in line with whole language philosophies; (3) implementation of a balanced literacy program takes a large portion of the instructional day and involves risks for teachers and students. Recommendations in the paper include: teachers need to prioritize literacy; content areas should be integrated into the balanced literacy classroom; administrators should establish inservice training in the balanced literacy approach; and future researchers should conduct both quantitative and qualitative research on specific effects of ability grouping within a balanced literacy classroom. Contains 93 references. Appendixes present suggested teaching sequences, a framework for literacy learning, descriptions of work areas in a learning to read classroom, an example of a running record, and a daily schedule. (RS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand