ERIC Number: ED407165
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Oct-4
A Case Study of the Implementation of a Nongraded, Multiage Continuous Progress Primary Program.
O'Connor, C. Richele
This study examined teacher perceptions during the implementation of a nongraded, multiage primary school program. Issues surrounding teacher beliefs about the definition, challenges, and benefits of nongradedness were examined. Individual case studies and a cross-case analysis were completed through content analysis. Six classroom teachers participated in the study, all women, who varied in teaching and educational experience. The school housed grades K through 5, serving a predominantly low income area of Bellingham, Ohio. Results indicated that teachers exhibited various consistencies and inconsistencies in their application of the "nongraded" definition. Distinct characteristics of their definitions included teaching to older students, teaching topics rather than subjects, using learning centers, meeting students' unique needs and interests, and budgeting time. Perceived challenges included administration-induced problems, such as standardized testing and a vague retention policy; assessment challenges, such as maintaining individual documentation; organizational challenges, especially in trying to create flexible, nonpermanent groups of children; curricular and instructional challenges such as individualizing instruction; the need for more materials; the complexity of nongradedness, especially for struggling students; the increased preparation necessary; and dealing with undesirable student behavior. Perceived benefits included a supportive classroom environment, the opportunity for students to learn various roles, enhanced social and emotional development, time for teachers to know the children, higher expectations, and the variety and choices offered to students. (Contains about 85 references.) (KDFB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Document contains small and broken print. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, October 4, 1996).