Ability Grouping is putting pupils according to their performance or ability in learning a particular subject,discipline or an overall performance.
It is based on one's pace of learning as alluded to by Piaget ,Spearman and Thurstone who have written about the intelligence.The surest way of accelerating the process of learning is to allow them to proceed at their own pace ,while providing stimuli in the process .Fast learners will learn best among other fast learners . The learners will need their kith and kin to maximise their learning.
The teacher have to provide different learning task to the groups suted to their pace of learning.
Disadvantage of Ability Grouping includes:
The danger of self fulfilling prophecy which may result in depressing the performance of the pupils.
There is the potential negative labelling of pupils .Errors of selection cannot always be avoided ,misplacement of learners in wrong groups is always possible.
It may encourage eliticism --fast learners are made special at school --creating social class structure miniture (at a lower levels)
The tendency for functionalism to breed in the school arising from feeling of superiority and inferiority.
Mixed Ability:The assumption is that each pupil whether dull or intelligent as something to offer in any given learning environment.No single learner is hopeless at everything as long a he/she possesses acceptable level of normalcy.
Advantages of Mixed Ability, there is potential and less negative labelling of pupils.
Teachers have conduct a wide range of learners and teaching tends to be more diagnostic ,for instance on performance levels.
Troublesome pupils are spread more thinly through the class groups and there is wide social mix in schools.
Competition is replace by cooperation and errors of selection into streans of groups are avoided.
There is mutual respect ,support,understanding and tolerance.
Disadvantages of Mixed Ability Grouping,it increases preparation and marking by the teacher.
The need for more resources and more care of using them and it generates greater troubles and stressed the teacher.
It doesn't sufficiently stretched the fast learners and may reduce their performance to mediocrity and it reduces academic excellency
Teaching mixed abilities of learners in a class set up there are three forms of management skills which are preparatory ,strategic and evaluation.
Preparatory Skills devise and prepare appropriate curriculum or content for each group.Utilise their interpersonal skills in planning and preparation of course work materials.Make an adequate understanding of their individual differences .
Strategies Skills/Teaching Strategies make use of variety of teaching methods and handle groups tactfully.Be flexible and adaptsble when interacting with individual children.
Evaluation Skills monitor and record progress made by individual learners.Effectively use numerous assessment techniques for individual learners.Make evaluation of your own teaching and being strictly involved in reflective teaching ,for example reflecting on your introduction ,content,media ,etc.
(1)What is (a)mixed ability grouping
(b)ability grouping in the taeching and learning process.
(2)Discuss the use of mixed ability or ability grouping in the teaching of specific subject of your on choice in the teaching of any class.
(3)Explain what you understand by the terms group Dynamics and grouping .(a)How can you use grouping as an effective teaching technique in the teaching in a classroom situation.
(4)Compare and contrast mixed ability and ability grouping as teaching teachnique in a class set up.
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