Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Research on Ability Grouping in Reading Classrooms

I'm putting the final touches on some ethnographic research I've been conducting this semester in conjunction with a doctoral class. The study was about the effects of ability grouping in reading on students self-perception and teacher curricular choice. The study has been very interesting and eye opening.

Of course I went into the study with pre-conceived notions about homogeneous groupings for reading. I currently teach a "high" reading group, while there is also a "medium" and "low" group. I am not a fan of the format, but because that's the way it is at my school, I of course go with the flow and make the best of it.

My study has taught me quite about about how fully aware of levels the students how, how they view themselves, and how they are either more or less motivated depending on where they are and if they think they can do something to move up a level (for those in the lower levels).

Also, as part of this study, I took a look at teacher curricular choices depending upon group level taught. Again I've learned quite a bit. It's obvious that the "high" groups in many cases feel more freedom in terms of what books they choose (for example in my own experience, I've read books this year such as The Lightning Thief, The House of the Scorpion, and The Little Prince, among others), how they approach the work load and how students are motivated from a teacher perspective.

I will be submitting my final paper next week, not for publishing but for grading (welcome to grad school). I will hopefully be posting it here on the blog shortly thereafter to great fanfare!