Homogeneous or Heterogeneous , The Tracking Debate - Hallinan and Oakes

Homogeneous or Heterogeneous , The Tracking Debate - Hallinan and Oakes

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Homogeneous or Heterogeneous: The Tracking Debate Maureen T. Hallinan and Jeannie Oakes TRACKING: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE – MAUREEN T. HALLINAN Tracking refers to the practice of assigning students to instructional groups on the basis of ability - originally, tracking was designed to prepare students for postsecondary education or careers - recently, track categories is replaced by course levels - tracking is an organizational practice whose aim is to facilitate instruction and to increase learning - theory of tracking is to permits teachers to tailor instruction to the ability level of their students - believed to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the instructional process - believed to be homogeneous; determined by academic criteria, track assignment tends to be permanent, tracking has a negative effect on the self-esteem of low-ability students, consequences are that they are not highly motivated to learn, and limits college options for low-track students To Issues Pertaining to the Effectiveness and Equity of Tracking: 1. whether tracking is more effective in promoting student’s learning than are other methods of grouping 2. whether all students benefit from tracking to the same degree EMPIRICAL RESEARCH ON TRACKING – THE SUPPORTING CONCLUSIONS Assignment to Tracks 1. Assignment to tracks is not only based on academic considerations, but also on course conflicts, extracurricular schedules, work demands, and resources. A reliance on nonacademic factors in creases the heterogeneity of ability groups and leads to overlapping ability distribution 2. Schools vary in the collection of factors on which they assign students to track 3. Track assignments are less permanent than believed 4. A greater proportion of minority and low-income students are assigned to the lower tracks 5. Higher social status is associated with placement in higher track Effects of Tracking 1. Quantity and quality of instruction increases with the level of the track 2. Students in high-ability tracks learn more and at a faster pace than low-track
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Homogeneous or Heterogeneous , The Tracking Debate - Hallinan and Oakes

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