Term of Award

Fall 1994

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Howard M. Kaplan

Committee Member 1

Marilyn G. Morgan

Committee Member 2

W. Jay Strickland

Abstract

This study examines the effects of homogeneous and heterogeneous ability grouping on teacher and student performance within three elementary schools in a rural Georgia school district. Research methodologies included an analyses of standardized achievement test scores, a teacher questionnaire, and individual interviews with teachers. The analyses of standardized test scores revealed that 2nd grade students who were heterogeneously grouped performed significantly better on math and verbal skills than 2nd grade students who were homogeneously grouped. Teacher questionnaire responses did not reveal significant differences between homogeneous and heterogeneous years in student self-esteem, discipline, or classroom management. However, teachers who had formerly taught lower ability homogeneous classes, stated in interviews that discipline and student self-esteem was much improved for low ability students under heterogeneous grouping. Teacher questionnaire responses revealed that planning lessons and teaching the range of students were perceived to be more difficult under heterogeneous grouping than under homogeneous grouping. Effects of the grouping change upon teacher morale was also examined.

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