Friday, November 07, 2008


Today during our grade level team meeting a discussion over a disruptive class of students and their behavioral problems prompted the teachers to look more closely at seating arraignments int he classroom. The question which is something our school is looking more closely at now is how does the seating arraignment in a heterogeneously mixed group of students look in a general education class? Are top level students dispersed throughout the class or are they grouped together to offer them more stimulating content depth? Are lower performing students encouraged to sit with students of similar skill level for teachers to have better targeted access to them?

This is a real dilemma of differentiation in a mixed ability classroom.

My question is this, are we providing enough ongoing assessment in the classroom to clearly articulate to our students that they are moving on a continuum of learning? Today they are here with this group working on this skill tomorrow they maybe moved. Or are we as educators from a traditional upbringing content with the validity of summative formal assessments that tracking students for semesters is more effective. Are the labels of High performer and low performer stagnate throughout the year? Does transitioning from ability group to ability group in a heterogeneous classroom help students and teachers see progress as ongoing? Does homogeneous grouping allow teachers to give targeted instruction easier?


kaf said...

"stagnant", not "stagnate". as a purported educator, it would be wise to double check your grammar. such mistakes are not necessary and demonstrate a lack of commitment to your own objective. if you don't follow the rules, why should they?

labels of every kind only serve to dehumanize us. the ones labeled are done the disservice of having assumed limits by others, and tend to personify that label. the ones labeling do themselves the disservice of closing their minds to as yet unseen qualities in those they label.


Anonymous said...

Dear Kaf,
Just wondering if you were being deliberately ironic when you used all lowercase letters in your post about using proper grammar? (And I'm sure I've abused some English rule here so await your timely correction.)

kaf said...

Peace to you,
Grammar changes the meaning of a thought, spelling does only so if the error is so drastic as to make a word indistinguishable. Also, I'm not paid to educate, so I won't hold myself to the same standards as those who are. This argument focuses on a secondary topic within the context of my comment. Primarily, I had wished to point out the systematic mistake inherent to our public education approach when it entails classifying and labeling people. Whereas this has historically been done with horrendous finality, your questions reveal that you, at least, are seeing the beginnings of solution to this by suggesting a more dynamic labeling and classification method. So I thought to help expand your perspective beyond the eventually invisible boundaries constructed by traditional thinking.