Assess the Feasibility and Benefits of Ability Grouping in the Australian Public School Education System. Essay

3046 WordsApr 23, 201313 Pages
Assess the feasibility and benefits of ability grouping in the Australian public school education system. In regards to the improvement of the educational provisions for gifted students, eliminating educational neglect in public schools, as well as for upgrading the quality of education for all students in public schools, it is necessary to assess the benefits and feasibility of school-wide ability grouping in Australian public schools. Much discussion about the merits of ability grouping is recorded in recent academic literature with inconclusive results. Many claim that ability grouping is undesirable because it leads to deficits in academic self-concept and academic achievement. However, as this paper will argue, it appears to be justifiable due to the opportunities afforded to the gifted students, the support needed for low achieving students, and its benefits to our nation as a whole. Whether or not school-wide ability grouping is feasible is a question that has not been the focus of most research papers, and as such a model of school-wide ability grouping will also feature in this research paper. In order to discuss the benefits and feasibility of ability grouping, we must primarily define ability grouping, and further, school-wide ability grouping. In its essence, ability grouping is “the practice of dividing students for instruction on the basis of their perceived capacities for learning”. There are two prevalent forms of ability grouping: within-class, or heterogeneous grouping, referring to a teacher’s practice in an individual class of dividing students of similar learning capacities into small groups; and between-class, or homogeneous grouping, which refers to a school’s practice of separating students into different classes or courses based on their learning capabilities. As heterogeneous grouping is almost universal, this paper will assess the

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