05 SES 06 A, Urban Education & Children and Youth at Risk
Parallel Paper Session
This paper shows the results of the quantitative study conducted under the research Project MIXSTRIN. Ways of grouping students together and how this is related to success at school: Mixture, Streaming and Inclusion(National Plan of research and development of Spain. Ministry of Education and Science 2008-2011). This project starts from the results obtained in the integrated research project of the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission INCLUD-ED, Strategies for Inclusion and Social Cohesion in Europe from Education (2006-2011), which has the objective to identify the educational practices that favour the educational success and social cohesion and those, that on the contrary, lead to school failure and social exclusion.
One result of the first study of the INCLUD-ED project is the classification of three ways of grouping children, which are accompanied by different educational results: mixture, streaming and inclusion. Mixture includes all the students in a group, usually heterogeneous with regards to the educational level, in a traditional classroom and with one teacher. This practice presents multiple difficulties to respond to an increasing diverse student body with different sociocultural backgrounds. Streaming is a second type of grouping that has been defined by the European Commission (2006) as the curricula adaptation to different groups of children with regards to their performance within the same school. It often entails grouping students according to their performance and including additional human resources. Nevertheless, scientific literature has pointed out the negative effects of streaming both in the quality as well as the equity of education. Third, inclusion is an alternative of the prior two options with educational practices that provide a satisfactory answer to the students diversity, contributing not only to the opportunities but to the results and the school success of all. It mainly consists of maintaining heterogeneous groups of students and reorganising human resources to support students in inclusive settings.
The main objective of MIXTRIN is to identify to what extent the different ways of grouping students (mixture, streaming and inclusion) are being used in Spain and the way each of them influence students’ academic outcomes. Although there is evidence enough that streaming is a widespread practice in Europe (Mullis, Martín, González & Chrostowski, 2004; OCDE, 2007), to date no scientific research had studied before the level of application of these ways of students’ grouping in Spain. Similarly, although several international studies highlight the negative impact that it has on students (Braddock & Slavin, 1992; Chorzempa & Graham, 2006; Zimmer, 2003), the results of implementing these practices in schools in Spain had neither been addressed by research. This lack of scientific evidences is especially important since steaming practices are popular in Spain and have even been recognised by the legislation in education. Other educational reforms abolished streaming by law years ago, this is the case of Finland, where streaming was forbidden by law on the 80s. While Finland is the European country with better results in PISA 2009 (OCDE, 2010), Spain achieves scores significantly below the OECD mean in the same survey.
Braddock, J.H. & Slavin, R.E. (1992). Why ability grouping must end: Achieving Excellence and Equity in American Education. Baltimore, MD: Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students. Chorzempa, B. F. & Graham, S. (2006). Primary-Grade Teachers' Use of within-Class Ability Grouping in Reading. Journal of Educational Psychology. vol. 98 num. 3 pp. 529-541. Comisión Europea. (2006). Eficiencia y equidad en los sistemas europeos de educación y formación. Bruselas, 8/9/2006, COM(2006) 481 final. SEC (2006) 1096. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=es&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2006&nu_doc=481 INCLUD-ED Project. Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe from education. 2006-2011. 6th Framework Programme. Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society. CIT4-CT-2006-028603. Directorate-General for Research, European Commission. Mullis, I.V.S., Martin, M.O., Gonzalez, E.J., & Chrostowski, S.J. (2004). TIMSS 2003 International Mathematics Report. Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College. OCDE. (2007). PISA 2006 Science Competencies for Tomorrow's World. Results form PISA 2006. http://www.oecd.org/document/2/0,3343,en_32252351_32236191_39718850_1_1_1_1,00.html OCDE. (2010). PISA 2009 Results: What Students Know and Can Do. Student performance in reading, mathematics and science. Volume I. http://www.oecd.org/document/61/0,3746,en_32252351_46584327_46567613_1_1_1_1,00.html Zimmer, R. (2003). A New Twist in the Educational Tracking Debate. Economics of Education Review, 22(3), 307.
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