Grouping different students together for learning has been a teaching method used for years. Here we will discuss the difference between homogeneous grouping and heterogeneous grouping in the learning environment.
What is a homogeneous classroom? This would be a classroom where students are all at the same or similar ability level. For example, if you had a whole classroom of gifted students
this would be a homogeneous classroom.
What is a heterogeneous classroom
? This is the opposite of homogeneous groupings. Heterogeneous classrooms consists of students of the same grade or age but the students are distributed in a way that allows variety.
While it has been argued that there may be issues of division in the homogeneous groupings because it takes one group away from others it has to be pointed out that students should be able to learn more when they are ready for it. Only a teacher who is with the student for hours each week can assess whether or not a student could benefit from these groupings. It should also be pointed out that some students who are on grade level feel more comfortable in classes where their peers are at a somewhat equal level. This enables the student to feel like they can risk answering a question wrong when asked for their answer in a classroom setting, etc.
Maintaining some sense of order in a classroom can be very difficult. It is not easy to take so many students with different personalities, behaviors, and preferences and put them into a room together and make the learning environment suitable for each. Here are just a few ideas on things you may want to consider when thinking about classroom management.
Classroom arrangement – How do you set up the desks in your classroom? Is it working for the students? Until recent years we were all used to setting up desks in rows and now we set them up in circles, squares and any other way to help cooperative learning. The key with classroom arrangement is to keep students away from each other that are just bound to have problems together or who have proven in the past that there are problems.
Organization – If a teacher
can flow from one subject to another like from math
to English with fluidity then there is less time for the students to become unruly or disengaged. This works great for the elementary school student but for high school students teachers really have to have their time management skills honed. They must learn how to flow from one concept to the next without skipping a beat and giving a lull for the class to get out of hand. This does not mean that being prepared will make all problems disappear but it does make it easier. Having your curriculum
well prepared will make a lot of difference.
Rewards and consequences
– If you set the tone early in the year that the is zero tolerance for certain things such as violence, bullying of any kind, cheating, or vulgarity (just to name a few behavioral problems) then there is less likely to be a problem. You need to set clear guidelines and let the students know what behavior is expected and if that bar is not reached, what will then happen. The key here is to follow through without fail.
Supplies – It is best at any grade level to be sure that you have the school supplies necessary and on hand for whatever you will be doing in class on that day. Being prepared ahead of time will help keep the chaos low and the learning in order.
Visiting the parents of each of your students before the around the first of the year or even throughout the year may help with discipline problems. If parents and teachers are united in the educational efforts of the student, the student tends to take their own education more seriously.