Ability Grouping in Education by Judith Ireson

By Judith Ireson

Skill Grouping in schooling offers an outline of skill grouping in schooling. The authors reflect on selective education and skill grouping inside colleges, similar to streaming, banding atmosphere and within-class grouping.

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Sample text

The schools were selected to provide a range of ability grouping in the lower school, from completely mixed ability through years 7 to 9, to mainly ability grouping. The sample comprised three levels of ability grouping in the lower secondary school (years 7 to 9), with 15 schools in each level: ‘Mixed ability schools’ predominantly mixed ability classes for all subjects, with setting in no more than two subjects in year 9. ‘Partially set schools’ setting in no more than two subjects in year 7, increasing to a maximum of 4 subjects in year 9.

19 reduces the proportion of more able pupils in the comprehensive schools. In some cases, the proportion of more able pupils may be severely reduced, making the intake to comprehensive schools more similar to secondary modern schools. The issue of intake is an important one and has been examined in great detail by some researchers. , 1996). Researchers have used a variety of measures to compare pupils’ achievement. These include performance in national examinations, such as those taken at the end of compulsory schooling (for example, GCSE and GNVQ), standardised tests in English and mathematics, or curriculum-based assessments, such as those developed for international comparisons.

A scale point was added if the setting in year 9 was rigorous. 2 that the majority of schools adopted rigorous setting. The partially set schools were more similar to the set schools, with all the set schools and 11 of the partially set schools scoring 3 or 4 on the setting scale. Only 8 of the 15 mixed ability schools scored 0 or 1 on the scale. As only one school scored 3, the scale was collapsed into four levels for mathematics. qxd 19-Jul-01 34 3:33 PM Page 34 Ability Grouping in Education There was much less setting in English.

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