MIXED ABILITY GROUPING Ana Redondo I/ INTRODUCTION: The main purpose of this module is to present to you some general evidences of different researches about method of mixed ability grouping versus other forms of organising pupils in MFL teaching and learning perspective. II/CONTENT 1/ Political context (in England and Wales) * 1944 the educational system in Britain streamed into diferent types of secondary schools, student with special educational needs being educated in special school. Since 1980s central government break up the Local Education Authorities by introducing Local Management of School * 1991-1993, chidren with special education needs into mainstream school, private school: 20-25%, conprehensive school being skew. * Throughout 1990, setting had proved to be effective in many secondary schools for mathematics, science and language. Pupils grouping are cosidered under such pressures: Student’s achievements (examination results), policy and society, local needs and parental choice. / Mixed ability grouping * In the title clerly indicates: ‘Mixed ability grouping’ also refer to a group in which children of varied ability are taught together rather than being set apart. * -No group of pupils is ever homogeneous. Differences in areas: ability, gender, self-concept, self-estem, ethnic background. a. Advantages of Mixed abilitiy grouping * Mixed ability grouping provides all pupils with equality of opportunity and reduces the negative results often associate with homogeneous grouping. It avoids the problems associated with allocating pupils to homogenous groups. * It promotes a good relation among pupils, between teachers and pupils. * Reduce competition and the labelling of pupils. * Low ability pupils are supported more benefit. b. Disadvantages of mixed ability grouping * It is hard to ensure that higher ability Ss are stretched sufficiently. * The meeting the needs of high and low ability pupils can result in failure. Teachers need to be sensitive to aware the differences of in order to set appropriate work, maximize learning outcomes and avoid conflicts between teaching and learning. * Mixed ability grouping makes unrealistic demands on teachers' pedagogical skills. * The majority of the class is often poorly supervised. Mixed ability grouping pose particular difficulties in MFL. 3/ Other forms of organisind pupilss - MFL teaching and learning perspective * Students have multiple intelligences, there for, some are better at certain things than others. Homogeneous groupings are likely to alow teachers a greater opportunity to meet the individual’s needs of students. * Homogeneous groups of pupils can achieve more efficiently in MFL. * Homogeneity of teaching groups- when classes share a greater similarity of learning qualities and characteristic, allows the techer to carry out their teaching more effectively. * It is difficult to allocate students to the appropriate group, no stigma is attached. Both ‘mixed ability grouping’ and ‘ability grouping’ have advantages and disavantages.
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III/CONCLUSIONS * I suggest here to consider ‘homogeneous groups’ and ‘within -class groups’ as pragmatically feasible options. Seated group work, collarborative project work, co-coperative learning, flexible learning, task-based learning or carousel work can all be applied in various different ways to ensure academic and social learning. (Ana Redondo) * The grouping of pupil is only one of several factors affecting the learning environment of the classroom. The quality of instruction and the curriculum are central. (Halam, 1996:2)
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