The purpose of this study was to investigate elementary school students' perceptions of grouping formats for reading instruction. Participants were 549 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade urban, mostly minority students, including 23 students with learning disabilities (LD), in 3 schools in a large southeastern district. Students' perceptions were assessed by means of a questionnaire that included both closed- and open-ended items. Results revealed no grade or gender differences. Students reported that whole-class instruction and working alone were used more frequently than group or pair instruction; some students reported that they had no experience with certain grouping formats, particularly pairs, in their current reading class. Students at all levels of reading ability liked mixed-ability groups and mixed-ability pairs most, followed by whole-class instruction. Same-ability groups and working alone were the least liked grouping formats. Students perceived that in mixed-ability groups students get more help from classmates, work more cooperatively, and make more progress in reading than in same-ability groups. Same-ability groups were perceived to be desirable only for nonreaders. The implications for classroom practice are discussed with an emphasis on general education classrooms that include students with LD.
|Journal||Elementary School Journal|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1996|
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