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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Ability Grouping and Mixed-Ability Grouping in High School Mathematics: Perceptions and Research Considering North Dakota High Schools with Greater than 500 Students Grades 9–12
by Denault, Jacob, M.Ed., Minot State University, 2020, 165; 28264327
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of the study was to measure and compare secondary mathematics teachers’ perceptions of ability grouping and mixed-ability grouping. Secondary mathematics teachers in eight participating North Dakota high schools with greater than 500 students in grades 9–12 were simultaneously sent an online survey to complete voluntarily and anonymously. Results in this study attempted to answer research questions regarding participant perceptions of ability and mixed-ability grouping strategies through numerical ratings on a scale of 1–10 and through written explanations of the ratings. Fairness of each grouping strategy (achievement grouping, tracking, and mixed-ability grouping) was rated by the participants, and participants selected which grouping strategy they perceived to be best suited for secondary mathematics. Written explanations for ratings are presented verbatim, and the participants’ explanations often matched and were as nuanced as the research in the literature review. Though current research from prominent scholars and organizations favors mixed-ability grouping, a majority of participants in the study selected achievement grouping as the grouping strategy best suited for secondary mathematics. Participants rated achievement grouping as significantly fairer for all students than both tracking and mixed-ability grouping, and they were significantly more comfortable teaching classes with achievement grouping than teaching classes with mixed-ability grouping. School districts considering a change to mixed-ability grouping in their secondary mathematics departments should provide teachers with professional development and additional classroom supports for effective implementation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Geller, Laurie
Commitee: Jensen, Deb, Janes, Allen
School: Minot State University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- North Dakota
Source: MAI 82/7(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Gifted Education, Secondary education
Keywords: Ability, Education, Grouping, Mathematics, Mixed-ability, Secondary, North Dakota
Publication Number: 28264327
ISBN: 9798557056540
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