Linchevski, Liora, & Kutscher, Bilha
Tell Me With Whom You're Learning and I'll Tell You How Much You've Learned: Mixed-Ability Versus Same-Ability Grouping in Mathematics
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
The effects of teaching mathematics in a mixed-ability setting on student's achievements and teachers' attitudes.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
Vol. 29, No. 5, pp. 533-554
- In heterogeneous classroom instruction the differences in achievement are explained mainly by the initial differences.
- The average scores of intermediate -and low-level students in the same-ability grouping system were significantly lower than those in the mixed-ability system on both versions.
- The attitudes of project teachers with more seniority were more positive toward student learning in a heterogeneous class than the attitudes of new project teachers.
- The professional training for teachers is essential for the successful implementation of teaching in heterogeneous (mathematics) classes.
- An increase in the gap, due to learning in the tracking system emanates mainly from the loss in the weaker student's achievement instead of from the stronger students' gains.
- It is possible for students of all ability levels to learn mathematics effectively in a heterogeneous class, to the satisfaction of the teacher.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Ability Groups, Academic Achievement, Math, Peer Effects, Teachers
Method of Analysis:
Fixed Effects Regression Models
Israeli Junior High Schools in TAP project
Unit of Analysis:
- TAP (Together and Apart) project are comprehensive schools that keep a class together as one learning unit while responding to the different needs of the students.
- Teaching was conducted in 4 major settings: a) students working in whole-class settings; b) students working in small mixed -ability grouping; c) students working in small homogeneous groups; and d) students working in large homogeneous groups. In the first and last settings teachers played an active role, whereas in the others they were in a supportive role only.
- Data for 1629 seventh-grade students in 12 Israeli junior high schools that participated in the TAP project
- DV: Achievement in mathematics
- Three different studies in this paper: In Study 1 investigated whether studying in mixed-ability classes would prevent formation of a gap between high and low ability students greater than expected on the basis on initial differences between them . In study 2 compared the effects of mixed ability and same-ability grouping on the mathematics performance of students classified as having high ability, intermediate ability, and low ability. In study 3 examined how teachers in mixed-ability classes affects teachers' attitudes.
- The second one randomly assigned students to 4 mixed-ability homeroom classes.
- The third project focused on 58 teachers from demographically diverse regions.