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ERIC Number: ED438085
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Dec
Pages: 44
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-1-86003-052-1
Case Studies of Setting in Primary School Classrooms: An Extension to the Teachers' and Pupils' Days in the Primary Classroom Project.
McPake, Joanna; Harlen, Wynne; Powney, Janet; Davidson, Julia
In Scottish primary schools, "setting" refers to arranging pupils for a given curriculum area in separate classes with different teachers, based on pupils' attainment in that particular area. This research studied four Primary 7 classes in Scotland, in which setting was used for the teaching of mathematics and English in 3 of the 4 schools. Findings from observations of classroom practices in these classes were compared with findings from an earlier study of four Primary 7 classes in which setting was not used. The comparison findings indicated that there was little difference in the balance of the curriculum in setting and nonsetting schools. In both types of schools, there were marked differences between practice and 5-14 recommendations. Target pupils spent more time in whole class teaching situations in setting schools than in nonsetting schools. Setting was not related to the amount of time target pupils were engaged on task. There was no increase in the amount of time devoted exclusively to teaching in the setting schools. The dominant teaching approach in setting schools was instruction, with both set classes and mixed ability classes. In nonsetting schools, facilitating learning was the commonly noted teaching approach. Target students in setting schools spent more time involved in assessment than their counterparts in nonsetting schools. Overall, the time teachers spent assessing and recording pupils' progress was similar in setting and nonsetting schools. Recommendations were made regarding introduction of setting, grouping strategies, teacher allocation, resources, communication with pupils and parents, and evaluation of the effects of setting. (Contains 17 references.) (KB)
Scottish Council for Research in Education, 15 St. John Street, Edinburgh EH8 8JR, Scotland (7 British Pounds Sterling). Tel: 0131-557-2944; Fax: 0131-556-9454; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Scottish Office Education and Industry Dept., Edinburgh.
Authoring Institution: Scottish Council for Research in Education, Edinburgh.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)