East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Don’t group students by ability!

Is grouping students a good idea? Because I believe it is not.

Grouping students by ability is a bad idea because it could backfire, even though grouping students by ability is supposed to help teachers separate the good students from the bad, it could also make the students feel uncomfortable because then they know how good they are or how bad they are in a class.

Like NEA states in their article, “Research Spotlight on Academic Ability Grouping,” they show that schools that use the grouping method in elementary schools aren’t that bad because the students are too young to understand where they are at in the world. But as they go to middle and high school they start to see what they have been labeled because NEA states, “these students are given labels that stay with them as the move from grade to grade.”

Then when they get to middle school or high school NEA states that the students “with high abilities and skills were given intense, rigorous academic training while students with lower abilities were given a vocational education.” NEA also states that the teachers will pay more attention to the better student and gave them better instructions than the lower students making their achievement gap bigger.

A teacher that used grouping method named William H. Johnson said it didn’t work out with his students, because even a smart student told him.

“If you are only going to teach one part of the class, what do you expect the other kids to do, sit and look stupid. We’re supposed to talk man, I thought you knew that,” said Johnson.

Grouping students by ability may sometimes be better for teachers to make the students successful, but the students that are lowered grouped will feel that they don’t have what it takes. They will feel that they are dumb and not try that hard or they will just give up.

All things considered, grouping students by ability is wrong because you need all type of learners to learn from others and get better. Because even smart students need the lower students to get ideas and build from them, while the lower students get examples that they could use to make them their own.

For this reason I believe that classes that are grouped by ability is not a good idea because teachers from the class of students that are better are expecting more from the smarter students and that makes some of them get more stress out and that is one reason that grouping is bad. While the other students, the teachers don’t expect that much so they don’t try that much to help them and that is why they fail.

So what is your opinion do you think grouping students by ability is okay or not?

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