ERIC Number: ED504569
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiage Classrooms in the Era of NCLB Accountability. Education Policy Brief. Volume 7, Number 1, Winter 2009
Song, Ruiting; Spradlin, Terry E.; Plucker, Jonathan A.
Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, Indiana University
For a great portion of the history of the American education system, multiage education was the norm in one-room schoolhouses throughout the nation. The current graded, curriculum-centered approach in the U.S. appeared during the mid-nineteenth century with the rapid economic development and massive immigration into the country. Concurrently, some innovators tried to develop child-centered education, which focused on applying a developmentally appropriate practice in a more social and natural learning environment. These efforts led to the current scheme of multiage education, teaching students in a cross-grade group as a whole class and emphasizing individual progress through a developmentally appropriate curriculum. This report discusses benefits/advantages and obstacles/problems of the multiage approach, and models of multiage programs in Kentucky, Michigan, and internationally. Two Policy Perspectives are presented: (1) Primarily Speaking in Kentucky (Joe McCowan); and (2) Multiage in the Era of NCLB (Sandra J. Stone.) Concluding recommendations are offered: (1) High-quality research on the effects of multiage education is needed via a randomized control trial or a quasi-experimental study to validate the existing body of research that generally point to accelerated gains by students in language development, reading, and mathematics; (2) Parent education and teacher preparation are essential; (3) Administrators need to create space for multiage classrooms within the school and to let multiage classrooms exist outside the graded system, optimally as a "school within a school;" and (4) School administrators should consider multiage education as a viable alternative program that should be available to any student who is underserved or not succeeding in the traditional classroom.
Descriptors: Parent Education, Mixed Age Grouping, Teaching Methods, Accountability, Educational History, Barriers, Educational Philosophy, Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Teacher Education, Guidelines, School Organization, Educational Policy, Instructional Effectiveness
Center for Evaluation and Education Policy. 1900 East Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47401-7512. Tel: 800-511-6575; Tel: 812-855-4438; Fax: 812-856-5890; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://ceep.indiana.ed5
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Indiana University, Center for Evaluation and Education Policy
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky; Michigan
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001