Full Question: Our school has been doing multi-aged classrooms for 40 plus years and we are noticing that our student scores are dropping. We are investigating going to straight grade level teaching for literacy. Is there any support (recent research) for having a combination classroom where we are teaching two different grade levels and two sets of standards (in some cases) that are beneficial to our students?
Answer: “It all comes down to the nature and quality of teaching and it is immaterial about the ages—indeed at any age the students work across many levels – and it is how this heterogeneity is optimized that matters. I would be evaluating the growth of each student and then asking where there is success and why, and moving in this direction. It is rare, indeed, in schooling that structural changes make the difference – unless it is moving to too much homogeneity” (John Hattie, personal communication, April 9, 2018).