The Prairie Valley Project: Reactions to a Transition to a Schoolwide, Multiage Elementary Classroom DesignReport as inadecuate

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School Community Journal, v26 n1 p239-264 2016

Originating from progressive educators who saw the need for student-centered educational designs rather than the traditional, single-age classroom design based on Henry Ford's assembly line, the multiage classroom design is returning as a viable alternative to the single-age classroom. The authors explored the perceptions of parents and teachers impacted during the transition of two elementary schools away from single-age classrooms to a multiage classroom design. This study specifically focused on kindergarten through fifth grade and examined the overall effect of the multiage design on these two groups and on the elements that were important to the administration. Results indicate that parents support the transition to a multiage design. Although they demonstrated support, teachers were significantly more neutral than the parents in several areas, such as family-school relationships, class size stability, teacher assignment stability, and overall ability of students to do well in the multiage classroom. The findings of this research will assist districts transitioning to a multiage design in identifying what elements of the design are likely to be supported by parents and teachers.

Descriptors: Elementary Schools, Mixed Age Grouping, Educational Change, Parent Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Elementary School Teachers, Looping (Teachers), Mixed Methods Research, Case Studies, Parent Surveys, Teacher Surveys, Family School Relationship, Class Size, Teacher Placement, Teacher Collaboration, Interpersonal Competence, Individualized Instruction, Nonparametric Statistics, Statistical Analysis

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Author: Bailey, Gregory J.; Werth, Eric P.; Allen, Donna M.; Sutherland, Leonie L.


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