Alternative Uses of Ability Grouping in Secondary Schools: Can We Bring High-Quality Instruction to Low-Ability Classes?
University of Wisconsin- Madison
Explores possible instances of high-quality instruction in low-ability classes.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
American Journal of Education
Vol. 102, No. 1, pp.1-22
- Catholic High Schools use tracking more effectively and produced smaller achievement gaps.
- Difference exist among schools in the implementation and effects of tracking.
- There appear to be instances of successful low-track classes at least in Catholic Schools.
- The characteristics of successful low-track classes are: High expectations, an academic curriculum, oral interaction between teachers and students, great effort on the part of the teacher ,and the absence of a system of assigning weak or less experienced teachers to lower tracks.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Ability Groups, Academic Achievement, Catholic Schools, Curriculum, English, Expectations, Faculty, Teachers, Tracking
Interviews, Participant observation
Method of Analysis:
8th & 9th grade English classes in secondary schools
Unit of Analysis:
- 9 High Schools that varied in the context of their communities, including rural, urban, and suburban schools, and public and Catholic schools.
- Students from 8th to 9th grade.
- Of the 112 English classes they studied over the two-year period, 42 in eight grade and 50 in ninth grade were ability grouped.
- Examined 18 schools that used ability grouping for English, seeking examples of schools that had (a) high-quality instruction in low-track classes, and (b) higher than expected achievement on a year end literature test among students in low-track classes.