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ERIC Number: EJ903273
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 77
ISSN: ISSN-0042-0972
Only the Names Have Been Changed: Ability Grouping Revisited
Worthy, Jo
Urban Review: Issues and Ideas in Public Education, v42 n4 p271-295 Nov 2010
In this paper, I employ a study of 25 sixth grade teachers of "regular" and "honors" language arts classes in a large urban district as a vehicle for discussing ability grouping. Despite not being asked any questions about grouping or differentiation, differences in students and instruction among the two class levels was a major focus of the teachers' responses. Most of the teachers' descriptions of students in regular classes were remarkably similar to negative descriptions from ability grouping and tracking research of the 1970s and 1980s, and the instruction they described was comparably limiting. The findings suggest that, among these teachers, euphemistic terms such as regular and "grade level," have replaced clear-cut terms used in the past ("basic" and "low"), making class leveling systems more confusing. Navigating this system is especially difficult for parents with social, cultural, and/or academic capital that does not match well with that of most school personnel. Implications for research and practice are addressed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 6; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A