The Tyranny of Setting (Ability Grouping): Challenges to Inclusion in Scottish Primary Schools

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May. 15, 2011

This article was published in Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol 27 number 4,
Author(s): Lorna Hamilton, Paul O’Hara, " The Tyranny of Setting (Ability Grouping): Challenges to Inclusion in Scottish Primary Schools", Pages 712–721, Copyright Elsevier (May 2011).

In this article, a survey focusing on primary schools in Scotland established the extent to which some form of ability grouping has emerged within classes dealing with children from 5 to 12 years of age.

Teaching in these schools was considered to be more direct and interactive with more time available for individual support.
Basis for judgement (inclusion in particular sets) was predominantly teacher observation and in class testing.

This article highlights the significance of personal constructs of ability when setting is applied. Such a ready acceptance of ability grouping despite the inequities associated with it challenges the very foundation of inclusive policies.

Updated: Feb. 07, 2012
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