Carol wrote: > I am a new teacher and I appreciate someone bringing in some > research into this discussion rather than just stating opinions. From > what I have observed this year with my students, I believe that my more > gifted students gain a greater understanding of the math concepts by > helping me teach the other students. My students enjoy helping each > other out and I enjoy having "helpers". I allow my students to advance > as quickly as they wish by providing them with individual work folders > that contains work appropriate to what they can do. This is *extra* > work and not all my students complete much in this folder...and that's > ok! My students (first grade) are very motivated to help each other and > all are advancing at different levels with heterogenous grouping.
I think you'll see a difference by the time they're in third or fourth grade, though, depending upon how the general classroom is managed. First, differences will be much greater at that level than at first grade. Also I'm not so sure it's a good idea for a student to always be an auxiliary teacher, whether in a particular subject or across the board. It conflicts greatly with the assumption that all students are "peers." Again, your mileage may vary, depending upon how you structure your learning environment.
As a fifth/sixth grade teacher I do know that I have seen many students who have had a lot of anger at always having to take the role of tutor and never being in a position to actually be taught something new themselves. The heterogenous/homogenous question is by no means cut and dry. I will say, however, that often heterogenous grouping seems to be a code word for homogenous grouping by age. Once we all switch to multiage classrooms, then much of the hetero/homo debate will be moot.
> > There is so much more to education than learning how to compute > problems. If we teach our children the most advanced mathmatics > without allowing them to communicate with each other and help each other > out we may end up turning out a bunch of unibombers. Who wants complex > math ability without the human connection? I certainly don't.
Agreed, though I think we'll have some unibombers no matter what classroom management techniques we use.