Reading, Grouping, and the Student.Report as inadecuate

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Reading instruction and placing students into groups emphasizes a plethora of approaches. Each method of grouping for instructional purposes should stress providing for learners' individual purposes. Which plans are appropriate for grouping students for reading instruction? Team teaching has many advocates, but it has both advantages and disadvantages. Departmentalized teaching stresses a separate teacher for all or some of the grade levels in reading instruction. A teacher specializes in the teaching of reading and can build instructional skills based solely on reading. But departmentalized instruction as compared to the self-contained classroom will continue to be debated. Prior to the 1950s there were still many one-room schoolhouses. Presently in selected elementary schools, grades 1 and 2 may be located in one classroom, and this is now labeled interage grouping. It, too, has advantages and disadvantages. There are not nearly the problems involved in grouping when individualized reading is in operation. With this method, the student chooses a library book to read and conferences with the classroom teacher afterwards. Teaching the basics in reading has long been advocated. The use of carefully chosen basal readers might well stress a basics curriculum. Basal readers have been in existence since the McGuffey Readers were first published in 1837. The Core Knowledge Foundation (Hirsch, 1999) represents an additional basics approach in teaching reading. E. D. Hirsch advocates that school districts identify core topics and emphasize these in selected grades. During the 1960s some educators advocated what was called the nongraded school. Every teacher needs to ungrade reading instruction since few students read on grade level. One solution would be for teachers to use the best from each grouping procedure. (Contains 10 references.) (NKA)

Descriptors: Class Organization, Comparative Analysis, Elementary Education, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Reading Instruction, Student Needs

Author: Ediger, Marlow


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