ERIC Number: ED400604
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Sep
Tracking: Conflicts and Resolutions. Controversial Issues in Education.
Lockwood, Anne Turnbaugh
The educational tracking system raises highly controversial issues. This book offers both the viewpoints of researchers who have grappled with the issue of tracking and the personal experiences of school staff who have wrestled with the issue of whether or not to track instruction. It presents summaries of interviews that were conducted with three researchers and two practitioners. The researchers include Adam Gamoran, professor of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Reba Neukom Page, visiting associate professor of education at Harvard; and Anne Wheelock, an advocate for detracking schools. The two practicing educators include Roger Genest, a veteran English teacher and English department chair at Pioneer Valley Regional High School in Northfield, Massachuetts, and Anna Hunderfund, Assistant to the Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in the Jericho Union Free School District in Jericho, New York. Although each of the individuals expressed distinct perspectives, the following themes permeated their views: (1) tracking is not the real issue in schools; rather, more complex and difficult questions about curriculum and instruction are the more substantive and difficult problems with which schools must contend; (2) arguments about whether or not to track instruction further polarize districts and communities and can lead to a climate in which nothing productive related to bettered curriculum and instruction will be achieved; (3) heterogeneous instruction does not mean that students with poor academic backgrounds are left to flounder, nor that the brightest students carry the burden of learning for the others; (4) heterogeneous instruction does not mean that everyone should be treated the same, nor does it mean that everyone is the same; and (5) the quality of leadership figures significantly into the question of whether heterogeneous instruction will be realized or simply acted upon and ultimately dismissed as another educational trend. (LMI)
Descriptors: Ability Grouping, Curriculum Design, Elementary Secondary Education, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Heterogeneous Grouping, Homogeneous Grouping, Mixed Age Grouping, Social Stratification, Student Placement, Track System (Education)
Corwin Press, Inc., 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218 (ISBN-0-8039-6480-3, hardcover, $28.95; ISBN-0-8039-6268-1, softcover, $12.95).
Publication Type: Books; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A