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1 2010 Parent Edu-Session Series Dynamics of the Multi-age Classroom.

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Presentation on theme: "1 2010 Parent Edu-Session Series Dynamics of the Multi-age Classroom."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 2010 Parent Edu-Session Series Dynamics of the Multi-age Classroom

2 Overview 2 History of the Multiage Classroom What Is a Multiage Classroom Benefits of Multiage Classrooms Disadvantages of Multiage Classrooms FAQs

3 History 3 Multiage was once the norm- One room schoolhouse A graduate of one of the last one-room schoolhouses in the U.S. said: "Success for many of us was a natural consequence of that environment" (Heynen).Heynen He added an anecdote: "When the teacher called, 'Eighth-grade history,' and the eighth graders walked forward, we might have heard about the Constitution, for example. Those of us in the lower grades would have been given that lesson peripherally, indirectly, many times before we were taught it directly"

4 History 4 By 1860, particularly in the large cities, the answer to this problem (with public schools and the huge influx of students) became very clear -- create single grades in a school. David Tyack, an educational historian at Stanford University, reports that by 1870 the single grade idea had spread throughout the United States. Typically, the only exceptions to this organization were schools in rural areas that did not have enough children to create a single grade.

5 History Throughout the 1900s, as our country became more industrialized, many educational policy makers sought to continue the tradition of making schools "efficient" by applying concepts from the factory assembly line to public education. Once this happened, the concept of "grade level" became cemented in American schools. 5

6 History 6 No one is tracking the number of multiage classes operating nationwide, but the number peaked in the late 1990s. Multiage classes continue to operate in every state and in public, private and charter schools. Multiage education is more prevalent in Canada, Europe and parts of Asia, and while some of that interest may be philosophically driven, it is largely because it is an economical way to deliver education in less heavily populated areas

7 What is a multi-age classroom? 7 Includes students with at least a three year span in chronological age, who would previously have been placed in two different grades. Each student remains in the same classroom with the same teacher(s) for at least two school years, and often longer.

8 What is a multi-age classroom? 8 Teacher perceives each student not as a member of a grade grouping but as the individual she/he is, with a multiplicity of qualities and capabilities, not all of which are at the same level of development. The children learn to perceive each other less and less in terms of grade membership and more and more in terms of specific personal qualities and capabilities.

9 What is a multi-age classroom? 9 Chronological age becomes less important as a determinant of children’s relationships, while developmental age becomes more important. A multiage classroom generates more profound relationships between teacher and students, among students, and between teacher and parents. The metaphor of family characterizes the social qualities of the classrooms.

10 What is a multi-age classroom? 10 Teachers move from “teaching to an imaginary middle of the class” to conceiving and structuring learning activities that meet the needs of diverse individuals. The very structure of age grading encourages many teachers to perceive their students as similar and to conceive teaching as an activity directed toward the whole class.

11 What is a multi-age classroom? 11 Units or activities are planned for participation by the whole group much of the time. But the individual student’s work may be more individualized; the expectations will probably vary, depending on the individual’s needs and abilities Differentiated instruction is at the heart of instruction

12 What are the benefits for students of multiage classrooms? 12 An increase in the quality of relationship between teacher and student: Greater knowledge of the student’s capacities and needs by the teacher; Greater consistency of teacher behavior and expectations;

13 Teacher Student Relationship 13 Greater felt comfort and security in the classroom Greater mutual caring and concern

14 What are the benefits for students of multiage classrooms? 14 Social climate is more positive Recognition of diversity by the students increases their acceptance and even valuing of difference among their peers Reduction of negative norms.

15 Climate of the Classroom 15 Modeling, peer tutoring and interdependence leads to better learning and enhanced self-esteem Students of different ages become increasingly interdependent because they often teach each other.

16 Climate of the Classroom 16 Children in a multiage classroom experience a much wider range of group roles than in single grade experience. Each child has the opportunity to be “an elder,” a leader, and role model

17 What are the benefits for students of multiage classrooms? 17 Eases the stress of entering a new classroom for the child and allows the teacher to pay more attention to each new student Helps teachers to address the dilemma of failing a student in a way that gets them “out of the box” of two poor choices, failing or social promotion.

18 Benefits For Teachers 18 Deeper, more profound relationships with kids Greater personal rewards in seeing students’ growth and learning Minimizes the stress of starting a new school year as it supports productive use of school time right from the first week of school.

19 Benefits For Teachers 19 Stronger and more productive relationships with the parents of their students Continuity from year to year Get to apply/must apply best educational practices or learner centered learning and differentiated instruction

20 Benefits For Parents 20 Increase in comfort when they can get to know a teacher over more than a year. They know the routine and benefit from it just like the child. Greater likelihood that the parent and teacher can work together to support a child’s growth and learning.

21 Disadvantages For Students 21 None - Unless a poor teacher with poor instruction

22 Disadvantages For Teachers 22 It’s a tremendous amount of work Curricula change year to year Students needs change from year to year Parents don’t always understand the classroom so it’s more work to educate them It’s a greater commitment so more responsibility to the whole program

23 Disadvantages For Parents 23 Same as for students None - Unless a poor teacher with poor instruction

24 FAQ: Are multiage classrooms less structured? 24 Structure is an interesting concept based on one’s perspective and comfort. Multiage is highly structured To orchestrate large group instruction, small group instruction, student-centered learning and independent projects, there has to be a set of negotiated rules and routines worked out between the teacher and students.

25 “Charodic” Chaordic – term coined by top educational experts to describe most effective student centered classrooms where every student is on task. Goal - Students are on task and engaged in a learning activity a large percentage of the day 25

26 FAQ: Are multiage classrooms less structured? 26 ‘Structure’ is teacher specific, not classroom type specific. Some teachers can manage more freedom and flexibility than others. It doesn’t have to do with multiage or single-age classes necessarily. There are teachers of single-age classes that offer more movement than the traditional model of classroom; and there are multiage teachers that limit the amount of movement and noise within their class.

27 FAQ: Will multiage students end up with gaps in the curriculum? 27 When student learning is being monitored by one teacher over a number of years, it is less likely that they will end up with gaps in their conceptual and skill development. Over this span of years, students in multiage classes will cover the same topics as their peers in single grades. If teachers and students alike are conscious of power standards, the multiage years give more time for some standards to be reached by struggling students but all goals remain the same.

28 FAQ: Will the oldest age group in the multiage class get behind their peers in a single grade class? 28 Multiage teachers focus instruction on students’ learning needs rather than on grade-level curriculum. The question to be addressed is “what is the student’s next step?” even if it is several grade levels above their current placement. The teacher’s attention is not divided between the age groups (as in some multi-grade classes). Therefore, students have the advantage of continuous learning, and in many cases will be ahead of their peers in a single grade class.

29 FAQ: Should multiage classes have fewer students than single grade classes? 29 Workshop style instruction, flexible grouping instruction and student centered instruction as in multiage classes, requires a higher demand of teacher time than in classes where direct, whole-class instruction is prevalent. So when comparing to a traditional style of single grade class, where the teacher is curriculum-centered, the answer to this question is ‘yes’. However, comparing the multiage class to a single grade class, where the instruction is more learner-centered, than the answer to this question would be ‘no’. This is why private schools with single grade instruction still have lower class sizes (10-12 students per class on average) It makes sense that the higher the number of students there are in a class, the more difficult it is to offer personalized guidance.

30 FAQ: What is CVIS’s student to teacher ratio? 30 Our goal is 10:1 or less. Many multiage private schools are as low as 6:1. This year the 1 st grade classrooms at MOE have ratios of ~ 17:1 – 20:1 In the CVIS K-8 program, we are currently at a 7:1 ratio. We are committed to a low student to teacher ratio so that we can offer an exceptional learning experience for every child.

31 Trend 31 There is a decline in multiage instruction today, due in part to NCLB. However some argue "Progressive-minded administrators who believe strongly in multiage and have a vision of how to implement it and a staff to pull it off don't need to worry about test scores," he says. "If the teaching is high quality and the curriculum is comprehensive, test scores will fall into place.“ Multiage education requires well trained exceptional teachers who have embraced the pedagogy of multiage education Marzano et al suggest multiage classroom may be the best avenue for implementing the most current researched-based practices for effective highly engaged classrooms

32 32 Morning at CVIS

33 33 Middle School

34 34 Book Nook

35 35 Large Group Instruction Small Group Instruction

36 36 Independent Work


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