What is Multiage Learning?
In Multiage Instruction, students of at least a two year age span and diverse ability levels are grouped in a single classroom. Students are encouraged to share experiences involving intellectual, academic, spiritual, and social skills.
Children meet challenges with a range of abilities, experiences, developmental readiness, and learning styles. The highlight of a multiage classroom is the opportunity to embrace developmentally appropriate skills with collaboration, purposeful conversation, and movement.
Teachers of multiage classrooms are trained to differentiate the material based on each student’s unique learning needs. This philosophy is supported by school administration by collaborating with faculty and allowing the flexibility to meet each child’s needs.
Educational Benefits of Multi-Age Grouping:
- Students in Multi-Age Groupings perform as well or better than those in traditional ‘grade’ groups on standardized tests.
- Students in Multi-Age Groupings often have a more positive attitude about school than students of traditional ‘grade’ classrooms.
- Students in Multi-Age Grouping regularly reflect on their progress, growth, and learning.
- Increased use of flexible grouping for student learning
- Increased communication between parents, students, and teachers
- Increased parental involvement
Social Benefits of Multi-Age Grouping:
- Greater sense of belonging and rapport in classroom
- Increased cooperation among students as they foster the sense of community and sharing in the classroom
- Decreased competition among classmates as they learn to rely on each other and assist each other
- Less stress moving from one level to the next, as students will often have former classmates already in the next level who will assist the transition.
Multi-Age builds lasting, positive relationships between students, families, and teachers.
- Teachers and students have time to build a solid relationship over the course of several years.
- Students and families get to know each other well, and often families will request other siblings have the same teacher, further enriching communication and relationships
- The teacher knows what was taught in previous years, knows what the student has mastered, and knows what skills need more work and practice.
This is what Multiage Learning Looks Like at St. Joan of Arc
- Pre-assessment of students yields information on a student’s strengths and weaknesses so the teacher can plan lessons according to student needs.
- A challenging curriculum content and meaningful activities support academic and emotional intelligence that follows the students’ interests and strengths.
- Students are required to produce ideas, integrate knowledge, and complete tasks that have real-world applications, meeting and exceeding Wisconsin Academic Standards and assessments based on a wide-range of skills.
- Using project and inquiry based experiences, students learn key skills to help them be successful.