ERIC Number: EJ803222
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
To Set or Not to Set; Is that the Question?
Improving Schools, v10 n3 p283-294 2007
This article provides an evaluation of the rationale for, and impact of, setting with English classes in the second year of secondary school in one Scottish authority. The Council's education department has a long-standing policy of mixed-ability classes in English for the first two years of secondary school (S2). A number of schools approached the department requesting that the policy be relaxed to enable them to "set" by prior attainment in S2, while retaining mixed-ability organization in S1. In fact, some had, unilaterally, done so and were looking for post hoc permission. The authority commissioned the author to work with the schools, to evaluate the reasons advanced for the desired change, to assess the impact of the change or proposed change on pupils and teachers, and to report back. Visits took place to four of the five schools, classes were observed, teachers and pupils, school-generated evidence considered and a report written. This article discusses the context within which the debate was taking place; the rationale offered for setting and mixed ability; the issues emerging from the visits to schools; and the implications for decision-making at authority and school level.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Secondary Schools, School Districts, Educational Policy, Educational Environment, Ability Grouping, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Class Organization, School Organization, Educational Objectives, English Instruction, Educational Philosophy, Administrator Attitudes, Educational Principles, Educational Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)