JP: Flexible ability grouping
must be part of the talent development approach in schools.
Unfortunately, the research evidence over a long period of time shows this is not the case and that ability grouping
in mathematics leads to a decline in learning standards overall (Boaler, 2014).
The author uses her own PhD research in conjunction with other sources to examine the perception of children in relation to the language of ability grouping
and themselves, examining the equity and school performance issues involved.
A problematic: Ability grouping
in the middle years in the Australian context
Another example of an area in need of additional research is that of ability grouping
. A commonly espoused belief among gifted education scholars and advocates is that the available research clearly demonstrates the efficacy of homogeneous ability grouping
over heterogeneous grouping, with demonstrated benefits regarding student achievement and self-concept across ability levels.
Unfortunately, the practice of tracking continues to be common among school systems, despite an expansive body of literature demonstrating that ability grouping
is harmful to students enrolled in lower tracks and provides no significant advantages for higher-tracked students.
And in math, between 1996 and 2011, the practice jumped from 40 percent to 61 percent, states the report, "The Resurgence of Ability Grouping
and Persistence of Tracking."
And, finally, most schools employ ability grouping
in at least some subjects, such as math, which enables all students to move at their own pace.
The educational practice of ability grouping
emerged around the turn of the 20th century as a way to prepare students for their "appropriate" place in the workforce (Cooper, 1996 cited in Slavin, 2010).
ERIC Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction; Algebra; Regression (Statistics); Research Design; Urban Schools; Public Schools; Grade 9; High School Students; Mathematical Enrichment; Ability Grouping
; Instructional Effectiveness; Mathematics Achievement
Some topics include learning styles, ability grouping
, calculators, and the role of reading and writing in the math curriculum.
Streaming (or ability grouping
) for mathematics learning is a contentious issue.