Provocative Thinking - Intelligent Student Grouping

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Challenge your thinking about the way students are grouped and the impact this may be having in your school and classrooms

About this module:

This Challenge and Explore module offers the opportunity to think deeply about the way in which schools group students in their curriculum design, planning and implementation. After engaging with the first part of this module through a video-based session you’ll be invited to put your thinking into action through an enquiry based activity and to engage with other module participants to share your learning.

Session 1: Intelligent Student Grouping will ask you to think about:

  • A brief history of ability and mixed ability approaches to setting students
  • Research findings about the impact of these approaches on students’ outcomes and attitudes and on teachers’ capacity to manage behaviour and learning
  • The changes in our knowledge about how the brain works, building intelligence, growth mindset and the importance of expectation and belief in achieving good outcomes
  • How these increasingly widely held beliefs are incompatible with some of the curriculum organisation and delivery decisions schools make and the way in which we group and support students in lessons
  • The things that, therefore, need to change in how we organise our teaching, support and challenge our students and talk about learning
  • The lesson-study approach for classroom-based research

You’ll then be invited to engage in :

  • A choice of different small-scale investigations to be undertaken in your setting from a range of methodologies
  • Online sharing of your research and learning through the module forum
What you will learn:
  • An understanding of what we mean by ability and mixed ability grouping
  • Explore our understanding of ability and how this impacts upon setting decisions
  • What teachers do and can do to establish and raise expectations
  • Awareness of further reading to explore this area in more depth
  • How to design small scale action research activities which teachers can undertake to test the ideas discussed in this session