ERIC Number: ED414086
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Nov
Mixed-Age Grouping in Kindergarten: A Best Case Example of Developmentally Appropriate Practice or Horace Mann's Worst Nightmare?
Tercek, Patricia M.
This practicum study examined kindergarten teachers' perspectives regarding mixed-age groupings that included kindergarten students. The study focused on pedagogical reasons for using mixed-age grouping, ingredients necessary for successful implementation of a multiage program that includes kindergartners, and the perceived effects of a multiage program on kindergartners. Participating were 48 public and private school kindergarten teachers from Ohio and Kentucky who taught in multiage settings. Questionnaire results indicated that teachers believed schools implemented multiage programs because they viewed them as benefiting children; encouraging appropriate, student-centered, practices; reducing pressures for competition; developing peer learning; facilitating flexible student pacing; and promoting a family-like climate. Necessary components for successful implementation of mixed-age grouping included developmental curricula, pre-implementation discussions, parental knowledge and support, ongoing staff development, a supportive administration, and visits to existing multiage programs. Identified benefits for students included the child focus, acceptance of children's uneven development, the level of cooperation, older children acting as models for younger, and improvement in self-esteem, social and leadership skills, language. There were private-public school teacher differences in the concerns presented for kindergartners in mixed-age classrooms, with private school teachers more likely than public school teachers to have no concerns regarding making older children appear less capable than younger, lack of challenge for older children, developmental differences among students, older children feeling exploited when younger ones' ask for help, or younger children feeling intimidated by older classmates. (The survey is appended. Contains 34 references.) (Author/KB)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Practicum Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master's Research Practicum, Malone College.