ERIC Number: ED393170
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Oct
"Should We Do It the Same Way?" Teaching in Tracked and Untracked High School Classes.
McDermott, Peter; And Others
Critics of academic tracking argue that it perpetuates society's existing social structure, which is unfairly organized and limited by race and class. This paper presents findings of a study that compared teaching practices in tracked and detracked high school classes in a small city in upstate New York. Four social-studies and four science teachers volunteered to teach the same 9th- and 10th-grade curricula to classes grouped and ungrouped by ability. Teachers were encouraged to use cooperative learning in their detracked classes as their primary instructional method. Classrooms were observed during the second year of the project, the 1995-96 academic year. Findings indicate that teaching in detracked classes fostered richer use of language and a variety of teaching methods than found in the tracked classes. Students and teachers reported a preference for cooperative learning. Results of statewide testing indicated no difference in overall achievement of students, whether in tracked or detracked classes. There was no evidence to support the notion that instructional practices in tracked classes were more effective or efficient. It is recommended that teachers learn how to adapt their instruction to a wider range of student achievement and interests within a single classroom. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Educational Research Association (26th, Portsmouth, NH, October 25-27, 1995).