28 mars 2012

"Multiaged classrooms" (Critical Guide, E.D. Hirsch Jr)

   A phrase referring to the grouping of children by proficiency rather than by age, with the result that children of different ages find themselves grouped together. 

   The recent popularity of this idea may owe more to political and ideological pressures than to the demonstrated effectiveness of the practice. 
   One such pressure is the great diversity of academic preparation of children of the same age in American schools. This preparation gap would be reduced by a more coherent and specific curriculum and by more accountability for definite grade-by-grade standards. 
   Another cause is the egalitarian reaction against ability tracking, which means that tracking, if it is to exist, has to march under the banner of "learning at one's own pace." The most troublesome feature of the multiaged classroom is the disproportionate number of older students in each learning group who come from disadvantaged homes and who belong disproportionately to ethnic minorities. The result of officially sanctioning their slow progress is a perpetuation of social unfairness, as detailed in the entry under "At their own pace."

Antipathy to subject-matter content  

"banking theory of schooling" 
"culturally-biased curriculum" 
"outcomes-based education" 
"research has shown"


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This was an excerpt from Hirsch's great book on education :
The Schools We Need 
 and Why We Don't Have Them.
Recension by Richard Askey :  

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