A purposeful grouping of students consisting of several ages (grades)
Students remain with the same teacher for more than one year
A cross-section of children, different ability levels
Four year curriculum cycle
Multiage grouping is placing children who are at least one year apart in age in the same classroom groups. It can allow children of various abilities and age levels to work and learn in an environment that is intended to optimize their learning potential.
The primary reason we have developed the multiage classrooms is to change the focus in education from the subject matter to the student and the needs of each child. Children develop at different rates, at different times, and in different ways.
Research shows that grade levels were instituted to emulate the factory model. Educators know a great deal more about how to educate children than did our nineteenth-century predecessors. The multiage program is our attempt at implementing best teaching and learning practices that have been identified by current research. The new and exciting information that is coming from research on the human brain and how we learn have a great impact on the delivery of curriculum in our multiage program.
One aspect of multiage is an environment which is consistent, predictable, accepting, and stable. Most researchers believe that children learn and perform better in situations when the environment is safe and accepting.
Multiage grouping means that children return to the same teacher, providing a smoother beginning to a new year. Many of the class members already know expectations and routines. Many need little or no assessment in order to determine their strengths. Discipline issues are also eased. The relationship that has been built over time with the child and the family pays off in everyday classroom life.