Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 23, Issue 4, May 2007, Pages 501-514
A large proportion of teachers throughout the world teach in multigrade classrooms, or classes with more than one grade level. It is reliably predicted that the number of multigrade classes will increase in the future. This paper addresses the issue of teacher education for multigrade. The main thesis of this paper is that the professional knowledge and skills that are relevant and necessary to teaching effectively in single-grade contexts are also relevant and necessary for effective multigrade teaching.
However, many of these skills need to be given a specific multigrade emphasis in the context of the preparation of teachers for multigrade teaching. This does not necessitate separate teacher education programmes for multigrade teachers. The paper makes comparisons between multigrade and single-grade teaching in terms of outcomes and teaching practices and highlights the importance of effective teacher education programmes that cater for the needs of teachers in a broad rather than a narrow sense. The content of programmes aimed at the specific preparation of multigrade teachers are examined, and a categorisation of specific areas of content that need particular emphasis in the context of teacher education for multigrade is provided.