Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Tracking, of Students
Two different definitions of tracking have been used in textbooks over the past several decades. Historically, tracking began with curriculum grouping, or selecting students based on their educational and occupational plans. This type of tracking differentiates instruction according to students' interests, desires, and ambitions. A more recent definition of tracking, seen pervasively in public schools, is ability grouping, or grouping that tailors curriculum and instruction to each student's unique intellectual abilities. Hence, tracking is a term that can be used to refer to either of the different grouping arrangements, curriculum grouping or ability grouping. In 1985, Jeannie Oakes defined tracking as the practice of dividing students into separate classes according to their achievement level (high, medium, or low). It involves different curriculum paths for students who are college bound and for those who are headed directly for the workplace. Other measures for tracking are the categorizing of students according to ...