Your views

21st August 2015 at 01:00

Ability grouping has singular problems

In this era of performance data, league tables and data points seem to be the main driver of teaching and learning. As a result, pupils fall victim to an emphasis on exam results. But what about grouping by ability? Is it not just normal classroom practice to assist differentiation?

In my studies, I have researched these questions and discovered a variety of hidden consequences of ability grouping, from self-fulfilling prophecies of expectation to reduced self-esteem, increased bullying and, crucially, no obvious improvement in results. Why do we continue to use such methods when research shows them to be ineffective and costly?

Joshua Bennett

Trainee primary teacher

Short and tweet

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