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Power point maed 5040

  1. 1. The Effects of Ability Grouping in Middle School Mathematics Classrooms<br />By: Kristina Sartell<br />
  2. 2. Ability Grouping in Education<br />Tracking – students are tracked into groups based on academic achievement<br />Ability Grouping<br />Homogenous – all students in group similar in ability<br />Heterogeneous – students’ skill levels vary within groups<br />Well researched and controversial area of education. There continue to be studies conducted in attempt to solidify findings one way or the other. <br />
  3. 3. Controversy<br />Still today, studies are being conducted on the effects of ability grouping, specifically in math and science instruction. <br />High ability students attain slightly better with homogeneous grouping. <br />Middle and low ability students attain more significantly lower with homogeneous grouping. <br />Studies tend to show an overall agreement for heterogeneous grouping, however, there continues to be disagreement on whether that is fair based on high achieving students ‘being held back’. <br />
  4. 4. Hallinan et al.<br />Ability grouping in general does not effect student achievement. <br />Sex considerations did not have an effect on mathematics achievement, but did have an effect on which group students were assigned to participate in. <br />Hallinan, M. T. & Sorensen, A. B. Ability Grouping and Sex Differences in Mathematics Achievement. (1987). Sociology of Education. (60)2, 63-72. <br />
  5. 5. Ross et al.<br />Compared remedial vs regular classrooms in first grade. <br />Whole class ability groups forfeits the advantages of heterogeneous ability grouping in order to conduct adaptive teaching methods, such as peer tutoring. <br />Instruction used in remedial classes was observed as similar to the regular classroom. <br />“Offering low-ability students ‘more or the same’ seems less likely to enhance their achievement and motivations than would changes designed to meet their special needs. <br />Ross, S. & Smith, L. J. Math and reading instruction in tracked first-grade classes. (1994). Elementary School Journal, 95(2), 105- 119. <br />
  6. 6. Nor et al.<br />Teachers have difficulty implementing meaningful instruction for low ability groups. <br />Little difference in instruction in regular vs remedial classrooms. <br />No significant differences in student achievement noted. <br />Nor, S. M., Hamzah, R., Samad, A. A., Bakar, K. A., Mohamed, O., Tarmizi, R. A, ... Salim, S. S. Struggling Students in Low Ability Grouped Classrooms: Standardized Assessments and the Uphill Battle. (2007). International Journal of Learning, 14(7), 9-21.<br />
  7. 7. McCoach et al.<br />Ability groups for a portion of the day in kindergarten showed greater average gains academically. <br />Flexible grouping is key to effectiveness and to students’ self-concepts. <br />Teachers spent 15 to 60 minutes using ability groups throughout the day. There was a positive correlation between time in groups and student academic achievement. <br />McCoach, B. D., O'Connell, A. A., & Levitt, H. Ability Grouping Across Kindergarten Using an Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. (2006). Journal of Educational Research, 99(6), 339-346. <br />
  8. 8. Allan<br />Within class ability grouping seen to be most effective, especially for talented students. <br />Talented students should be given extension math activities to support work done in heterogeneous groupings.<br />Homogeneous grouping for the entire school day had the least effectiveness for all groups involved. <br />Heterogeneous grouping for the entire school day did not enhance the high group’s academic achievement. <br />Allan, S. D. Abiliy-Grouping Research Reviews: What do They Say about Grouping and the Gifted? (1991). Educational Leadership, http://www.donet.com/~eprice/sdallan.htm.<br />
  9. 9. Saleh et al.<br />High and average achieving students achieved higher when in homogeneous ability groups. <br />Low achieving students performed higher in heterogeneous ability groups. <br />Saleh, M., Lazonder, A., & De Jong, T. Effects of within-class ability grouping on social interaction, achievement, and motivation. (2005). Instructional Science, 33(2), 105-119. doi: 10.1007/s11251-004-6405-z.<br />
  10. 10. Mulkey et al.<br />Compared high ability and low ability as well as untracked and tracked schools. <br />Tracking (homogeneous groups) in 8th grade can be related to success in 12th grade for all students. <br />Some costs to tracking are low academic self-concept. <br />Mulkey, L., Catsambis, S., Steelman, L., & Crain, R. The long-term effects of ability grouping in mathematics: A national investigation. (2005). Social Psychology of Education, 8(2), 137-177. doi: 10.1007/s11218-005-4014-6.<br />
  11. 11. Leonard<br />Group composition has an effect on student achievement. <br />In general, heterogeneous groups produced better achievement. <br />High achieving groups showed little difference in achievement in homogeneous and heterogeneous groups. <br />Grouping has larger effects in subjects such as mathematics and science. <br />High ability students are better able to articulate ideas to their classmates, making them an integral part of heterogeneous grouping by skill level. <br />Leonard, J. How Group Composition Influenced the Achievement of Sixth-Grade Mathematics Students. (2001). Mathematical Thinking & Learning, 3(2), 175-200. <br />
  12. 12. Venkatakrishnan et al.<br />Found mixed ability groups to be best because it was advantageous for most students. <br />Grouping by ability showed slight advantage for the high groups, but a more significant disadvantage for both middle and low grouped students. <br />Ability grouping is complex due to classroom setup, gender, race, etc. <br />Venkatakrishnan, H. & William, D. Tracking and Mixed-ability Grouping in Secondary School Mathematics Classrooms: a case study. (2001). British Educational Research Journal, 29(2), 189-205. <br />
  13. 13. Gilmore et al. <br />Students gain math skills at varying times throughout their development. <br />Students need to be allowed and motivated to move out of the low ability group as they develop appropriate skills. <br />Gilmore, K. & Bryant, P. Individual differences in children's understanding of inversion and arithmetical skill. (2006). Journal of Educational Psychology, (76)2, 309-331. doi: 10.1348/000709905X39125.<br />
  14. 14. Useem<br />Decisions for tracking are usually made in 5th grade for students going into middle school. <br />The study noted that “late bloomers” tend to get left behind with this model.<br />16% students in fast-track classrooms in 8th grade<br />5% students in calculus in 12th grade<br />We must increase the number of students in high achieving math groups within our education system. <br />Useem, E. L. Tracking Students out of Advanced Mathematics. (1991). Education Digest, 56(9), 54-58. <br />
  15. 15. Conclusions<br />Used most often in math instruction, rather than other subjects. <br />Most effective for high functioning students. <br />Beneficial for middle and low students. <br />Seen as most effective with math instruction. <br />Homogeneous Grouping <br />Heterogeneous Grouping <br />
  16. 16. Classroom Implications<br />Ability grouping is generally seen as having advantages and disadvantages. <br />Math instruction is the subject most often used with ability grouping. <br />The overall theme is that ability grouping can be effective if used in moderation in math classes in middle and high school. <br />Math instruction should be heterogeneous, with students put into homogeneous ability groups for remediation and acceleration activities. <br />