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By Judith Ireson

Skill Grouping in schooling offers an outline of skill grouping in schooling. The authors contemplate selective education and skill grouping inside of faculties, similar to streaming, banding surroundings and within-class grouping.

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1996) and cross-age grouping (Kulik and Kulik, 1992) in primary schools indicate that, when implemented appropriately, they can lead to positive academic effects. Cross-grade grouping can produce positive effects on achievement when it is used for targeted teaching. For example, the Joplin plan is a system of teaching reading in which children in several year groups are regrouped for reading instruction according to their attainment in reading. Kulik and Kulik (1992) reviewed 14 studies in which children were formed into cross-age groups on the basis of their attainment in a particular subject, typically reading.

41 schoolwork (Gamoran and Berends, 1987; Lacey, 1974; Oakes, 1985). Oakes (1985) argued that for low track students the self-concept becomes more negative as years go by and these students tend to be critical of their ability. On the other hand, Kulik and Kulik (1992) in a meta-analysis of 13 studies found no overall effect of ability grouping on self-esteem. These studies investigated what the authors refer to as XYZ grouping, which includes both streaming and setting. Of the 13 studies, nine examined the effects of streaming.

In this chapter we will be particularly concerned with the development of academic selfconcept and self-esteem. As these are part of the overall development of the self, we will first outline a prevailing model of the structure and overall development of self-concept, before dealing more specifically with academic self-concept in relation to ability grouping. Much early work measuring the self-concept was based on a view of the self-concept as uni-dimensional. Various scales were designed to measure general self-concept, although much of the research was concerned with students’ perceptions of self within an academic context.

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