Streaming v mixed ability classes

3/10/2018
Streaming vs Mixed Classes

A parent told me recently that her son had been in the “lowest maths class” for two years and that despite putting in the effort and making learning gains, he had not been moved into the “intermediate” class. One of the reasons given by the teacher was that Lincoln* had not completed all his worksheets and his handwriting was messy. Being in the lowest maths group had become such an issue for Lincoln that towards the end of last year, his mother said he had begun to lose interest in school. As Lincoln described it, everyone in his year knew who was in the lowest and who was in the advanced maths classes.

What benefit is there to streaming students in school apart from making the work of teachers easier? The process of streaming students into advanced or intermediate classes, or for academic or vocational pathways, doesn’t broaden learning opportunities for students - it actually narrows them. There are social implications of separating and labelling students, particularly in primary school, where the capabilities and developmental aspects of the child are not fully identified.

In high performing nations like Finland and Canada (and also in many Australian schools), students are not streamed according to tested ability. The same content is delivered to all students but teachers are able to tailor lessons to suit the individual needs of each learner and then provide additional support based on what is happening during the lesson. And the measure of achievement should be each student’s learning gain, not on how neat their handwriting is or their score on a test conducted last term.

In one high school that moved from streaming students to having mixed ability classes, teachers reported that students often in the “lowest class” were able to pick up concepts much faster than the advanced students because lessons weren’t designed around keeping the lowest level students at the lowest level. Every student is capable of being challenged, not just the “brightest” ones.

What is clear, especially to students like Lincoln, is that streaming stigmatises and this can carry over well into adulthood. It is possible to challenge every student in mixed ability classes, even the very capable and gifted students. Our world is a diverse one; our classrooms should be the same.


*Not his real name

 

Posted By Greg Whitby for News Local at 3/10/2018 8:08:31 AM
 
   
  
 

Featured Albums

2018-08-22 Showcase Day 2
71 Items
6/10/2018
2018-08-21 Showcase Day 1
68 Items
6/10/2018
2018-08-20 Showcase Dress Rehearsal
41 Items
6/10/2018
2018 Dance for Drought
More than 800 people attended Chisholm Catholic Primary School’s “Dance for Drought” on Thursday night, raising around $4000 for farming families doing it tough in Western NSW.
17 Items
3/10/2018
Annual CCD Mass 2018
It was a great celebration of this ministry when over 400 SREs from across the Diocese joined the 300 student SREs from Catholic schools for the Annual Diocesan Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Mass and Awards Ceremony.
37 Items
28/09/2018
An Education Hub
With a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the school will be an educational hub for the Science Park and integrate seamlessly with the life and work of the community. Through the use of shared facilities, business-educational partnerships and collaboration on real-world problems, this ‘thinking’ school will prepare students for the STEM-focused knowledge jobs of the future. Mentoring and internships will allow students to apply their learning to real life situations and pursue tertiary and post school opportunities within and beyond the Science Park.
26 Items
24/11/2017
2016 Teacher Awards
On Thursday 27 October, 66 leaders and staff from Catholic schools and the education office were recognised for a collective 2570 years of service and 50 years of leadership at a special ceremony at St Patrick’s Cathedral. The Staff Recognition Awards were presented by Episcopal Vicar for Education and Formation, Rev Christopher de Souza EV and Executive Director Greg Whitby at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta.
145 Items
2/11/2016
2016 Principals Masterclass
The annual Principals Masterclass, which is the key professional learning experience for principals and senior leaders from the education office, was held on 20 and 21 October at Rooty Hill RSL.
13 Items
24/10/2016
2016 Bishop of Parramatta Award for Student Excellence
The annual Bishop of Parramatta Awards for Student Excellence which recognises the religious and academic achievement of Year 12 students across the Diocese of Parramatta, were presented at St Patrick’s Cathedral on 8 September 2016.
30 Items
4/10/2016
2016 Ready, Set…. Read! St Agnes’ Reading Relay
On Thursday 1 September 2016, Year 7 students from St Agnes Catholic High School Rooty Hill participated in the school’s annual Reading Relay.
81 Items
4/10/2016
2016 Way of Mercy Cross and Relics
On Monday 8 August 2016, hundreds of students, parish members and Catholic Education staff from around the diocese gathered in St Patrick’s Cathedral, North Parramatta for the official Way of Mercy launch.
26 Items
16/09/2016
2016 Called to lead the Way of Mercy
On Monday 8 August 2016, hundreds of students, parish members and Catholic Education staff from around the diocese gathered in St Patrick’s Cathedral, North Parramatta for the official Way of Mercy launch.
52 Items
11/08/2016
Page 1 of 14
« First    < 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  ... 
>    Last » 
Page 1 of 14
 < 
1 2  ... 
> 
 
   
  
 

Media Enquiries

Media enquiries can be emailed to mrix@parra.catholic.edu.au. Please include your contact details, including your phone number and the deadline for your story. Alternatively call Mark Rix on 0417 442 018.

 
   
Hidden UpdatePanel, which is used to help with saving state when minimizing, moving and closing docks. This way the docks state is saved faster (no need to update the docking zones).