A Study On Ability Grouping and Its Effects on Selected Instructional Aspects In Selected Senior Secondary Schools of Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of this study has been to find out the effects of ability grouping on the instructional processes , that is, on the uti lization of resources, application of the different methods and techniques of teaching , the academic achievement; the socials and emo tional development of the students; and final l y, its effects on the working cond i t i ons and work relationship of the teaching staff in selected senior secondary schools of Addis Ababa. To this end, samples of students and members of the academic staff have been selected random l y and were made to fill in the questionnaires prepared for each of them. In addition to this, a randomly selected the Ethiopi ~Sc h oo ls Leav ing Cert if icate Examination ( ESLCE ) results of a matching he terogeneously taught students and a homogeneously treated g r oups; a randomly selected c l assroom observations and interviews with the regional education office authorities have been used as the sources of data. The analysis o f the data col l ected fr om the d ifferent sources s h owed that there are no significant differences in the utilization of the resources o f the schoo l s , in the application of the different methods and techniques of teaching. Similarly, the comparison of the academic achiev ements of t he heterogeneously taug.t students of thepre -g r ouping ability prac tice and those o f the homogeneously grouped and taught students haven 't shown significant differences which are in favour o f the special grouping. Thus. showing that the expected purpose s o f the grouping practice in the region have not been attained. Although the re are no significant differences in the Academic ach ievements. the grouping practice has showed some positive and negative effects on the social and e motional development of both special and non-special group student. However . the negative effects seem to be more and stron/j[er on the non-special group students. Though there are the des ire to exce 1. high inte llectua l curiosity, self-reliance. sociability and truthfulness among the independence. spec ial c lass students. t here are some negat i ve c haracte ristics that are man ifested by them. These inc l ude. the artif i cially inflated self-esteem or superio rity corrlPelex. boasting. and some others which have not been o bserved in the heterogeneo u s l y grouped students by the staff and the students the mselves . The negative effects o f the prac tices seem to be higher and stronger on the non-special class students than on the special c l ass stude nts. It has stigmatized t hem . It made them feel inferior to their pee rs . lose interest in the school. develop low self-image. lac k self-contro l . etc.Finally, the findings showed that the ability grouping practice has not showed any significant effect on the teachers' working conditions and work relationships. This is so, because there have been no clearly stated guidelines as to how the practice has to be accomplished and the demands and competenc i es required from the teaching staff whic h consquenty would have affected then!. They teach almost as wha t they had been doing in a heterogeneously grouped classes . The teaching met hods and techniques they use in the special and non- special classes are more or less the same . Therefore, the effects o f the practice on the teaching staff are lirr!ited. Eventhough the contribut i on o f the ability grouping in the schools a re very limited, its negative effects on the students are higher than its pos itive effects. To maximize the contribution of t he p r actice i n the instructiona l p r ocess and minimize t.he negat i ve effec ts, it needs a c l early set guidelines on the different activities. The teachers need training. The separation o f the school who lly f o r the special students seems logical. In addition t o this, the number of sections and the large size of the students in each sec tions are Borne o f the great obstacles to mate rialize the plan. So it needs great attention to get good results from the practice .



A Study On Ability Grouping