Ability Grouping - Definition & Meaning

Ability grouping is an educational practice where students with similar academic abilities or levels of achievement are placed in separate groups for instruction. In ability grouping, students with comparable skills or performance levels work together in homogeneous groups.

The goal of ability grouping is to provide differentiated instruction that matches students' learning needs and readiness. Proponents of ability grouping argue that it allows teachers to tailor their teaching to the specific abilities of each group, promoting more targeted and effective instruction.

Ability grouping may be used in various subject areas or for specific activities. For instance, students in mathematics or reading may be grouped based on their proficiency to receive specialized instruction.

However, critics of ability grouping raise concerns about potential negative effects, such as reinforcing achievement gaps, limiting opportunities for social interaction among diverse groups, and perpetuating stereotypes based on perceived abilities.

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