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Chap1 Indep Together

Chap1 Indep Together

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Published by bgeller4936

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Published by: bgeller4936 on Oct 31, 2010
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Chapter 1:Learning and Teaching in the Multilevel Classroom 
This resource examines the research base underpinning multilevelclassrooms in which one teacher is responsible for students of abroader age-range than is generally found in the traditional single-grade classroom. It provides pedagogical and practical supports toassist the
learning community 
(students, teachers, administrators,and parents) in taking advantage of the unique opportunitiesmultilevel classrooms provide. The instructional and assessmentapproaches suggested for these classrooms are also best practices insingle-grade classrooms.
Definitions of Terms
In this resource, the term
multilevel classrooms 
refers to student-centred classrooms in which students learn across two or moregrades and are taught by the same teacher for two or more years. InManitoba, these classrooms are generally referred to as
, and
. Some schools/divisions/districtsalso use the term
alternative programming 
flex programs 
whenone teacher has a broad age-range of students for two or more years.
Reasons for Establishing Multilevel Classrooms
Decisions to create multilevel classrooms are based on pedagogicaland/or demographic considerations:Some schools/divisions/districts choose multilevel programming forphilosophical reasons. These deliberately formed multilevelclassrooms emphasize a continuum of learning, rather thanmaintaining grade differences. In such classrooms students workwith the same teacher for two or more years.In communities with low student populations, all Early Yearsstudents, all Middle Years students, or all students fromKindergarten to Grade 8 may be taught in the same classroom.These classes, like the deliberately formed multilevel classrooms,may also emphasize a continuum of learning.Other schools may have two or more grades assigned to the sameteacher to manage shifting enrollment. These classrooms are oftenviewed as a temporary measure within a school.Regardless of whether multilevel classrooms are created forpedagogical or demographic reasons, they can be seen as assets thatpromote quality learning.
Application ofBest Practicesto MultilevelClassrooms
Chapter 11.3 
In this resource, theterm
refersto both parents andguardians and is usedwith the recognitionthat in some casesonly one parent maybe involved in achild’s education.
Research shows that there are many benefits to having studentslearn in groups with older and younger peers. The pedagogicaladvantages of multi-age learning are supported so well by researchthat some jurisdictions in North America have mandated multi-ageclassrooms in Early and Middle Years schools (Kasten; Miller,
Multigrade Classroo
).Although research is not available for short-term combined classes, awealth of information exists regarding multi-age classrooms wherestudents are with the same teacher for two or more years. Majorreviews of this research into multi-age learning show severalconsistent trends. In reviewing 57 Canadian and American studies,Pavan found that in 91 percent of the studies, students in multi-grade classrooms performed as well as or better than students insingle-grade classrooms academically (22-25). Their greatest gainstended to be in language and reading. Lolli attributes this higherliteracy achievement to the integration of curricula and theconstruction of meaning where language skills and strategies aretools used to learn content. The benefits of an integrated approach tolearning are also well supported by brain-based research andGardner’s multiple intelligences model (Politano and Paquin; Lazear;Jensen,
; Gardner).In affective and social indicators, students in multi-age classroomsstrongly outperform students in single-grade classrooms (Miller,“Multiage Grouping”; Pratt; Connell). They score higher in studyhabits, social interaction, self-motivation, cooperation, and attitudesto school (Gayfer).The benefits of having older students offer assistance to youngerstudents are supported by research. Studies show that both thestudent being tutored and the student doing the tutoring improveacademically (Anderson and Pavan). Kasten emphasizes that “the actof translating one’s understanding into language is intellectuallydemanding” (5); this is certainly the role of the tutor. Vygotsky’stheory of language also purports that the construction of meaningtakes place within the social context of the learner and thatinteraction with supportive, competent language users is integral todeveloping language skills.
The ResearchUnderpinnings
Independent Together 1.4 
The terms
areused in much of theresearch. Theresearchunderpinningshighlighted here are,for the most part,reflected in allmultilevel classroomsexcept those formedfor only one year.

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