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Factors deterring schools from mixed attainment teaching practice

Taylor, B; Francis, B; Archer, L; Hodgen, J; Pepper, D; Tereshchenko, A; Travers, MC; (2016) Factors deterring schools from mixed attainment teaching practice. Pedagogy, Culture and Society 10.1080/14681366.2016.1256908. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Mixed-attainment teaching has strong support from research and yet English schools are far more likely to teach students in ‘ability’ groups. Although research has considered some of the specific benefits of mixed-attainment grouping, there has been little attention to the reasons schools avoid it. This article explores data from the pilot and recruitment phases of a large-scale study into grouping practices and seeks to identify reasons for the low rate of mixed attainment grouping in English secondary schools. We report on our struggle to recruit schools, and explore the different explanations provided by teachers as to why mixed attainment practice is seen as problematic. The difficulties are characterised as a vicious circle where schools are deterred by a paucity of exemplars and resources and the educational climate is characterised as fearful, risk-averse and time-poor. Suggestions are made as to strategies to support schools in taking up mixed attainment practices.

Type: Article
Title: Factors deterring schools from mixed attainment teaching practice
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/14681366.2016.1256908
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14681366.2016.1256908
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Mixed attainment grouping; english secondary schools; ability grouping; fear; setting
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment > Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Directorate
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1529376
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