Tracking (education)

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Tracking is the method of placing students according to their ability level in homogeneous classes or learning experiences.[1] Students of different abilities (low, middle, and high) are assigned to different "tracks" of courses and programs (vocational, general, college-bound, honors, and AP).[1] Tracking is the term given to this process, and while some teachers believe that tracking makes instruction more manageable, others believe that it is a terribly flawed system.[1] Once a student is placed, it may be very difficult to move up from one track to another.[1] The placements may reflect racism, classism, or sexism.[1] Many educators charge that the United States relies more on tracking than any other nation in the world.[2] Most schools today work hard to avoid using the term "tracking."[1] Middle and high schools are taking their cue from elementary schools, where "ability grouping" has been in favor.[1] Ability grouping sorts students based on capability, but the groupings may well vary by subject.[1] While tracks suggest permanence, ability grouping is more transitory.[1] One year, a student might find herself in a high-ability math group and a low-ability English group.[1] The following year, that same student might be reassigned to a new set of groups.[1] School tracking is a reality functioning under an assumed identity called ability grouping.[1]

Other[change | change source]

Besides tracking, another way to deal with diversity is to integrate students of different ability levels together in small working groups.[3] Cooperative learning gives students a sense of pride for both their individual performance and that of the group.[3] The students begin to take responsibility for their learning rather than on the teacher.[3] Cooperative learning allows higher achievement in many students and has eased tensions in multicultural classrooms as students learn to work together.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Karen Zittleman; Sadker, David Miller (2006). Teachers, Schools and Society: A Brief Introduction to Education with Bind-in Online Learning Center Card with free Student Reader CD-ROM. McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages. pp. 104, 107, 108, G–12. ISBN 0-07-323007-3. 
  2. Oakes. Keeping Track. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Nancy J. Cobb (2006). Adolescence Continuity, Change, and Diversity Seventh Edition. Sinauer Associates Inc. Publishers Sunderland, Massachusetts U.S.A. p. 254.