Jim Curran: 'Ability grouping promotes social segregation with working class pupils'

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Jim Curran: 'Ability grouping promotes social segregation with working class pupils'

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:06 pm

UK Reading Reform Foundation committee member, Jim Curran, wrote this piece for The Irish News - but the content is relevant beyond Northern Ireland:

Ability grouping `promotes social segregation' with working class pupils

http://www.irishnews.com/news/education ... s-1203582/

RESEARCH carried out by a team based at University College London, who were commissioned by the National Education Union has found that children as young as two, three and four are being divided into groups based on ability and behaviour.

About half of the 118 nursery school teachers questioned grouped their two to four year olds for teaching reading and a third for maths, with the use of grouping increasing later in primary schools.

"Teachers have concerns about the negative impact of grouping on children's self-confidence, self-esteem and aspirations, potentially leading to mental health problems," concluded the research team.

The researchers found the groups were based on factors other than ability alone, including friendships, behaviour and concentration levels.

Two-thirds of teachers agreed that the children were aware of different ability groups being used, even if seemingly neutral names for each group were applied, such as types of fruit or animals.

"We might call them foxes and rabbits, but they know," one teacher was quoted as saying.

Jim Curran has been a constant supporter and contributor to the Reading Reform Foundation message forum for many years - indeed he prides himself on being the first to post a message on the very first, original RRF website forum!

See here for the UK RRF forum where Jim posts often on issues of social justice:


Here is a link to the UK Reading Reform Foundation website - the forum has a wealth of historic information regarding the reading debate and now the RRF has introduced a blog to its new site:


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