Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Donna Hanby & Jackie Collier
During the 1970s and 1980s, educators debated about the best way to meet the needs of students identified as academically gifted or advanced: ability grouping for acceleration (advanced content) or grouping for enrichment (extended content)? Throughout the 1980s and the following decade, the focus of the debate widened into how best to meet diverse learning needs of all students: cooperative grouping or ability grouping? As with other reforms, the goal of enhancing learning for all was widely embraced, while the means of achieving it was heatedly debated. In the early 21st century the discussion has undergone further transformation, in which documentation of “achievement” is balanced by documented evidence of academic “growth.” The debate about ability grouping of learners based on their strengths in a particular area is at the forefront again. School districts across the United States are examining the needs of all groups of students and asking how to ...