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Individual differences in time needed to learn : teacher coping strategies Webster, Janet Barbara 1982

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INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN TIME NEEDED TO LEARN: TEACHER COPING STRATEGIES by JANET B. WEBSTER B.Ed., U n i v e r s i t y Of B r i t i s h Columbia 1974 M.A., U n i v e r s i t y Of B r i t i s h Columbia 1978 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES E d u c a t i o n a l P s y c h o l o g y And S p e c i a l E d u c a t i o n We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as co n f o r m i n g t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA J u l y 1982 © J a n e t B. Webster, 1982 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C olumbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head of my Department or by h i s or her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of E d u c a t i o n a l P s y c h o l o g y And S p e c i a l E d u c a t i o n The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date: 12 J u l y 1982 A b s t r a c t T h i s s t u d y was conducted t o i n v e s t i g a t e how t e a c h e r s cope w i t h the d i f f e r e n t i a l time needs of s t u d e n t s . Time was c o n s i d e r e d w i t h i n an economic framework and was c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as a l i m i t e d r e s o u r c e . The t a s k of t e a c h i n g was c o n s i d e r e d as the o p t i m i z a t i o n of l e a r n i n g w i t h i n the c o n s t r a i n t s imposed by the c o l l e c t i v e n a t u r e of the c l a s s r o o m . Two major c o n s t r a i n t s c o n s i d e r e d were the l i m i t e d time a v a i l a b l e f o r s c h o o l i n g , and the v a r i a b i l i t y i n s t u d e n t time needs. I t was assumed t h a t the c l a s s r o o m makes t h r e e g o a l - l i k e demands on the t e a c h e r : coverage of c u r r i c u l u m m a t e r i a l , the engendering' of mastery by s t u d e n t s of t h a t m a t e r i a l , and the s e c u r i n g of s t u d e n t a t t e n t i o n or c o o p e r a t i o n . As none of t h e s e g o a l s may be r e a l i z e d w i t h o u t compromising s u c c e s s a t a c h i e v i n g the o t h e r s , the problem was c o n s i d e r e d as i n v o l v i n g t r a d e o f f s of c o v e r a g e , mastery and c o o p e r a t i o n . O b s e r v a t i o n s were conducted i n f i v e grade 3 c l a s s r o o m s i n a s c h o o l d i s t r i c t i n the lower m a i n l a n d of B r i t i s h C olumbia. The i n v e s t i g a t o r v i s i t e d each c l a s s r o o m f o r one day each week d u r i n g the F a l l term. The methodology was n a t u r a l i s t i c . N a r r a t i v e specimen r e c o r d s were w r i t t e n d u r i n g each v i s i t , the o n - t a s k r a t e s of each s t u d e n t f o r academic and non academic a c t i v i t i e s were r e c o r d e d e v e r y f i v e minutes and i n f o r m a l i n t e r v i e w s w i t h the t e a c h e r s were conducted. The s t r a t e g i e s used by the t e a c h e r s t o cope w i t h v a r i a b i l i t y i n time needs a r e d e s c r i b e d , and i n t e r p r e t e d from a u t i l i t a r i a n p e r s p e c t i v e . The s t r a t e g i e s appeared t o f u n c t i o n t o keep a c l a s s o p e r a t i n g as i f i t were a s i n g l e organism; k e e p i n g the c l a s s t o g e t h e r may a v o i d the m a n a g e r i a l and i n s t r u c t i o n a l d i f f i c u l t i e s i n h e r e n t i n t e a c h i n g c l a s s e s of s t u d e n t s w i t h d i v e r s e time needs. The t e a c h e r i s c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as a u t i l i t a r i a n p r a g m a t i s t who o p t i m i z e s the l e a r n i n g of the c l a s s , r a t h e r than the l e a r n i n g of i n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t s . I t i s suggested t h a t the enhancement of t e a c h e r u t i l i t i e s i s a c h i e v e d through the c r e a t i o n and maintenance of an e q u i l i b r i u m between the time needs of the i n d i v i d u a l and the time needs of the c l a s s . S p e c i f i c a l l y , i t i s argued t h a t c l a s s r o o m p r o c e s s e s may be i n t e r p r e t e d as f u n c t i o n i n g t o e f f e c t a b a l a n c e between c o v e r a g e , mastery, and c o o p e r a t i o n . U n d e r l y i n g t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t e a c h i n g i s a model of the c l a s s r o o m as a h o m e o s t a t i c system. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS A b s t r a c t i i L i s t of T a b l e s v i i i L i s t of F i g u r e s x Acknowledgement x i Chapter 1 1 I n d i v i d u a l D i f f e r e n c e s And The C o l l e c t i v e N a ture Of S c h o o l i n g 1 I n d i v i d u a l D i f f e r e n c e s And Speed Of L e a r n i n g 5 T r a d i t i o n a l Methods 6 Time Needed To Learn 11 The Advantage Of Time As A M e t r i c 12 Time As An E d u c a t i o n a l Resource: An Economic Analogy . 13 The Nature Of The Study 15 The Development Of The Problem 15 G e n e r a l P e r s p e c t i v e s 18 Method Of P r e s e n t a t i o n 21 O r g a n i z a t i o n Of The Study 23 Chapter 2 26 The P r o c e s s Of I n v e s t i g a t i o n 26 Two Paradigms 26 I s s u e s Of Design In N a t u r a l i s t i c S t u d i e s 31 The Design Of The Study 37 Data C o l l e c t i o n 39 The Problem Of B i a s 43 V R e a c t i v i t y And O b s e r v a t i o n a l Measures 44 G e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y 50 Chapter 3 53 O r g a n i z a t i o n For I n s t r u c t i o n : L e v e l i n g And S h a r p e n i n g .... 53 S e l e c t i o n Of C h i l d r e n For I n s t r u c t i o n 55 I n t r a c l a s s G r o u p i n g 56 Myths About Grouping 58 Grouping D e c i s i o n s 62 W i t h i n C l a s s V a r i a t i o n In A b i l i t y 65 O r g a n i z a t i o n For I n s t r u c t i o n 67 F a c t o r s I n f l u e n c i n g O r g a n i z a t i o n 72 To Group Or Not To Group 87 L e v e l i n g And S harpening 92 Chapter 4 96 V a r i a t i o n In Performance R a t e s : F a s t And Slow F i n i s h e r s . 96 I n d i v i d u a l D i f f e r e n c e s In Time Needed To L e a r n 97 Percentage Of Time In Which F i n i s h i n g Occured 100 Rate R a t i o s Of F a s t And Slow Workers .104 S t r a t e g i e s For Coping With F a s t F i n i s h e r s 113 S t r a t e g i e s For D e a l i n g With U n f i n i s h e d Work 118 D i s c u s s i o n 123 Chapter 5 130 O p p o r t u n i t y To L e a r n : Pace Of I n s t r u c t i o n 130 Pace Of I n s t r u c t i o n And Achievement 132 The S t e e r i n g Group H y p o t h e s i s 134 Measurement Of Pace 136 Teacher C o n t r o l Of Pace 147 Chapter 6 180 v i Time As An E d u c a t i o n a l Resource 180 Time As A V a l u a b l e Commodity 183 The R e l a t i o n s h i p Between Time And Achievement 185 The P r o d u c t i o n F u n c t i o n Model 186 Time A l l o c a t i o n As D e c i s i o n Making 190 Time A l l o c a t i o n W i t h i n An Economic Framework 196 A l l o c a t i o n Of Time To C u r r i c u l a r / n o n C u r r i c u l a r 201 A l l o c a t i o n Of Time To I n s t r u c t i o n 203 A l l o c a t i o n Of Time To I n s t r u c t i o n a l U n i t s 207 Chapter 7 218 Time-on-task 218 The Use Of Time By S t u d e n t s 221 Assessment Of Time-on-task 230 R e l i a b i l i t y Of The On-task Data 233 T a s k - r e l a t e d B e h a v i o r 235 W a i t i n g To F i n i s h S t r a t e g y 243 The L e v e l i n g H y p o t h e s i s 244 Chapter 8 .-> 246 A c t i v i t i e s : The B u s i n e s s Of S c h o o l 246 L e a r n i n g Or C o o p e r a t i o n .246 C h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s Of C l a s s r o o m A c t i v i t i e s 250 Implementation Of A c t i v i t i e s 255 C l a s s i f i c a t i o n Of A c t i v i t i e s 257 A c t i v i t i e s As F u n c t i o n a l E n v i r o n m e n t a l Responses 261 Rewards And C o s t s Of A c t i v i t i e s 264 B l o t t i n g Paper A c t i v i t i e s 273 Chapter 9 281 C o n c l u d i n g D i s c u s s i o n 281 v i i L i m i t a t i o n s Of The Study 281 The Mastery-Coverage Dilemma 284 Time Management 285 O p p o r t u n i t y To Learn 286 O p t i m i z a t i o n Of L e a r n i n g 288 Classroom Management And C o o p e r a t i o n 290 The Teacher As A U t i l i t a r i a n P r a g m a t i s t 291 A Metaphor For Classroom P r o c e s s e s : Homeostasis 293 V a l u e s And O p p o r t u n i t i e s 294 I m p l i c a t i o n s Of The Study 296 A C r i t i c a l P e r s p e c t i v e 302 B i b l i o g r a p h y 304 Appendix 1 - A DESCRIPTION OF THE SAMPLE 319 Appendix 2 - NARRATIVE SPECIMEN RECORD 328 Appendix 3 - SUMMARY 333 Appendix 4 - QUESTIONS 336 Appendix 5 - CURRICULAR MATERIALS FOR GRADE 3 CLASSES ...339 Appendix 6 - EXERCISE ON BASIC FACTS 340 Appendix 7 - EXERCISE ON REGROUPING 341 Appendix 8 - TEACHER PREFERENCE SIMULATION 342 v i i i LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Gates M a c G i n i t i e Reading T e s t 65 T a b l e 2 Ginn I n i t i a l Placement T e s t 67 Table 3 Group Membership And Achievement - Gates M a c G i n i t i e Reading Test 74 T a b l e 4 Group Membership And Achievement - I n i t i a l Placement Test 76 Table 5 P e r c e n t a g e Of Time In Which F i n i s h i n g O c c u r r e d ..100 T a b l e 6 P e r c e n t a g e Of Time In Which The F a s t e s t 25% Were F i n i s h e d 102 Table 7 C o r r e c t Response Rate R a t i o 108 T a b l e 8 Pace In Reading 140 T a b l e 9 Pace In A r i t h m e t i c 143 Table 10 Pace In S p e l l i n g 144 T a b l e 11 P e r c e n t a g e Of V a r i a n c e Accounted For By M a s t e r y , Time, And Group 156 T a b l e 12 P e r c e n t a g e Of V a r i a n c e Accounted For By Coverage, Time, And Group 157 T a b l e 13 P e r c e n t a g e Of Time Spent On N o n - c u r r i c u l a r A c t i v i t i e s * 201 Table 14 P e r c e n t a g e Of Time In C l a s s r o o m Spent In I n s t r u c t i o n 204 T a b l e 15 P e r c e n t a g e Of Time Sch e d u l e d For C u r r i c u l a r A c t i v i t i e s Spent In I n s t r u c t i o n 205 T a b l e 16 P e r c e n t a g e Of I n s t r u c t i o n a l Time A l l o t t e d To Reading Groups 211 i x T a b l e 17 C l a s s Average P e r c e n t On-task B e h a v i o r 235 T a b l e 18 Percentage On-task By Group By V i s i t 236 T a b l e 19 P e r c e n t a g e Academic And Non Academic On-task B e h a v i o r 238 T a b l e 20 D i s c r e p a n c i e s In On-task B e h a v i o r 240 T a b l e 21 Time P e r i o d s W i t h Number Of A c t i v i t i e s In P r o g r e s s 256 Table 22 - P e r c e n t a g e Of Time On A c t i v i t i e s 260 Table 23 P e r c e n t a g e Of Time Spent In D i f f e r e n t Formats ..261 T a b l e A Teacher T r a i n i n g And E x p e r i e n c e 320 X LIST OF FIGURES F i g u r e 1 A H y p o t h e t i c a l I n d i f f e r e n c e Map x i Acknowledgement I t i s w i t h g r e a t p l e a s u r e t h a t I acknowledge the h e l p and guidance of the committee members who d i r e c t e d t h i s p r o j e c t ; t h e i r c r i t i c a l comments d i d much t o s t i m u l a t e my t h i n k i n g . I a l s o w i s h t o e x p r e s s my thanks t o the f i v e t e a c h e r s who so o b l i g i n g l y p e r m i t t e d me t o spend time i n t h e i r c l a s s r o o m s . The view of t e a c h i n g p r e s e n t e d i n the f o l l o w i n g pages i s not i n t e n d e d t o r e f l e c t an u n c h a r i t a b l e p i c t u r e of t e a c h e r s , but t o i d e n t i f y some of the c o n s t r a i n t s which e x i s t i n c l a s s r o o m s . I owe a p a r t i c u l a r debt of g r a t i t u d e t o my r e s e a r c h s u p e r v i s o r , Dr. M a r s h a l l A r l i n whose support gave me the c o n f i d e n c e t o pursue my i n t e r e s t s . For time g i v e n g r a c i o u s l y , f o r the s h a r i n g of i d e a s , and f o r i n t e l l e c t u a l comradeship i n g e n e r a l , my g r a t i t u d e knows no bounds. 1 CHAPTER 1 I n d i v i d u a l D i f f e r e n c e s and the C o l l e c t i v e Nature of S c h o o l i n g S o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s a r e f r a u g h t w i t h an i n h e r e n t dilemma: a n e c e s s a r y t e n s i o n e x i s t s between meeting the p a r t i c u l a r i s t i c needs of the i n d i v i d u a l and the u n i v e r s a l needs of the group. Classrooms may be re g a r d e d as s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s i n which a s i m i l a r antagonism between the needs of the i n d i v i d u a l and the needs of the group e x i s t s . One a r e a where the needs of the i n d i v i d u a l and the needs of the c l a s s a r e i n c o n f l i c t i s i n the amount of time r e q u i r e d t o l e a r n . The p r e s e n t study was an e x p l o r a t i o n of the s t r a t e g i e s d e v e l o p e d by some grade t h r e e t e a c h e r s t o d e a l w i t h i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n time needed t o l e a r n . I t was a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of a t t e m p t s t o r e s o l v e t h i s fundamental c o n f l i c t might i l l u m i n a t e b a s i c c l a s s r o o m p r o c e s s e s . B a r r and Dreeben (1977) suggested t h a t c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n s of t e a c h i n g and l e a r n i n g a r e dominated by a t u t o r i a l model, y e t the c l a s s r o o m i s a c o l l e c t i v e s i t u a t i o n . T r a d i t i o n a l l y , the c e n t r a l o b l i g a t i o n of t e a c h i n g has been t o p r o v i d e l e a r n e r s w i t h e x p e r i e n c e s which w i l l l e a d u l t i m a t e l y t o growth i n s o c i e t a l l y approved s k i l l s . A n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n f o r the f u l f i l l m e n t of t h i s o b l i g a t i o n i s t h a t t e a c h e r s p r e s e n t the m a t e r i a l t o be l e a r n e d and t h a t s t u d e n t s spend time s t u d y i n g i t . In a t u t o r i a l s i t u a t i o n the time needed t o l e a r n i s not i n h e r e n t l y p r o b l e m a t i c : the r a t e a t which the t e a c h e r p r e s e n t s the new m a t e r i a l can be a d j u s t e d t o 2 the time needs of the i n d i v i d u a l l e a r n e r . D i f f i c u l t i e s a r i s e when e d u c a t i o n must be p r o v i d e d f o r groups of l e a r n e r s . I n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n time needed t o l e a r n p r e s e n t the t e a c h e r w i t h a dilemma: t h e r e w i l l be some c h i l d r e n who r e q u i r e more time and some l e s s time than she has a l l o c a t e d . A p r i m a r y purpose of t h i s study i s t o document how some grade t h r e e t e a c h e r s d e a l w i t h v a r i a t i o n i n r a t e of l e a r n i n g i n t h e i r c l a s s e s . V a r i a t i o n i n time needed t o l e a r n which p r e c l u d e s t h a t s t u d e n t s w i l l a c q u i r e knowledge and s k i l l s i n u n i s o n p r e s e n t s something of a c h a l l e n g e t o t e a c h e r s . However, d i f f e r e n c e s i n l e a r n i n g r a t e are n o t , i p s o f a c t o , p r o b l e m a t i c . A c e n t r a l t h e s i s of t h i s study i s t h a t i t i s the p e c u l i a r c o n s t r a i n t s of o r g a n i z e d s c h o o l i n g which e x a c e r b a t e the d i f f i c u l t i e s f o r t e a c h e r s . T y p i c a l l y , s c h o o l c u r r i c u l a a r e d e s i g n e d so t h a t p r e s c r i b e d amounts of s u b j e c t m a t t e r c o n t e n t a r e a s s i g n e d t o be c o v e r e d a t p a r t i c u l a r grade l e v e l s . Yet t e a c h e r s a r e r e q u i r e d t o i n s t r u c t c l a s s e s of c h i l d r e n who d i f f e r i n the amount of time they need t o l e a r n . I t i s t h i s d u a l requirement of coverage of a c e r t a i n amount of m a t e r i a l i n a s t a n d a r d amount of time which makes the problem of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n l e a r n i n g r a t e p a r t i c u l a r l y t r e n c h a n t . S e v e r a l s o l u t i o n s t o t h i s problem of d i f f e r e n t i a l time needs p r e s e n t themselves f o r c o n s i d e r a t i o n . Perhaps a r e d u c t i o n i n the c h a l l e n g e f a c i n g t e a c h e r s c o u l d be a c c o m p l i s h e d by the g e n e r a l a c c e p t a n c e of wide v a r i a t i o n i n s t u d e n t l e a r n i n g w i t h i n a grade l e v e l . To what e x t e n t 3 t e a c h e r s can manage programs which a l l o w f o r wide v a r i a t i o n i n s t u d e n t l e a r n i n g i s a moot p o i n t . A l t e r n a t e l y , time might be a l l o w e d t o v a r y so t h a t those who l e a r n e d i n l e s s than the a l l o c a t e d time might be p e r m i t t e d t o engage i n o t h e r p u r s u i t s , w h i l e those who l e a r n e d more s l o w l y would be r e q u i r e d t o spend more time i n s c h o o l . Cronbach (1967) r e j e c t e d t h i s l a t t e r a l t e r n a t i v e on the grounds t h a t i t "would e x t e n d the e d u c a t i o n of some y o u n g s t e r s u n t i l they were o l d s t e r s " (p. 2 5 ) . Fundamental d i f f e r e n c e s amongst c h i l d r e n i n the same grade i n terms of time needed t o l e a r n , c o u p l e d w i t h the c o n s t r a i n t s of a common c u r r i c u l u m and a l i m i t e d amount of time i n s c h o o l , l i k e l y p r e s e n t p r a c t i c a l problems which do not admit of s i m p l e s o l u t i o n s . The s t r a t e g i e s d e v e l o p e d by t e a c h e r s t o meet t h i s c h a l l e n g e were the f o c u s of the p r e s e n t s t u d y . The problem f a c e d by the t e a c h e r i s c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as the o p t i m i z a t i o n of s t u d e n t l e a r n i n g w i t h i n the c o n s t r a i n t s imposed by the c o l l e c t i v e n a t u r e of the c l a s s r o o m . Two major c o n s t r a i n t s c o n s i d e r e d i n t h i s s tudy were the l i m i t e d time a v a i l a b l e f o r s c h o o l i n g and v a r i a b i l i t y i n s t u d e n t time needs. I t was assumed t h a t the c l a s s r o o m makes t h r e e g o a l - l i k e demands on the t e a c h e r , none of which can be a c h i e v e d w i t h o u t compromising s u c c e s s a t a c h i e v i n g the o t h e r s . These g o a l s a r e the coverage of a body of c u r r i c u l a r m a t e r i a l , the e n g e n d e r i n g of mastery by s t u d e n t s of t h a t m a t e r i a l , and the s e c u r i n g of s t u d e n t c o o p e r a t i o n or a t t e n t i o n i n the i n t e r e s t s of e f f e c t i v e c l a s s management ( c f . Abrahamson, 1974; Westbury, 1980). The c o l l e c t i v e n a t u r e of the e d u c a t i o n a l e n t e r p r i s e means t h a t a l l 4 g o a l s cannot be a c c o m p l i s h e d i n the l i m i t e d time p e r m i t t e d f o r s c h o o l i n g . In s i t u a t i o n s where o b j e c t i v e s are i n c o n f l i c t , or no a c c e p t a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e e x i s t s , the predicament f a c i n g the d e c i s i o n maker has been c h a r a c t e r i z e d as i n v o l v i n g v a l u e t r a d e o f f s (Keeney and R a i f f a , 1976). In essence the d e c i s i o n maker i s r e q u i r e d t o weigh, a l b e i t i n t u i t i v e l y , the v a l u e of a c h i e v i n g one o b j e c t i v e compared t o a n o t h e r . A c c o r d i n g l y , the dilemma f a c i n g t e a c h e r s of meeting the needs of the c l a s s and the needs of the i n d i v i d u a l was c o n s i d e r e d as a problem i n v o l v i n g t r a d e o f f s between c o v e r a g e , mastery and c o o p e r a t i o n . I t i s a p p r o p r i a t e a t t h i s j u n c t u r e t o i n d i c a t e the sense i n which the words c o v e r a g e , mastery, and c o o p e r a t i o n a r e used i n t h i s s t u d y . T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o mastery because of i t s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the mastery l e a r n i n g t r a d i t i o n (Bloom, 1968). W i t h i n the mastery l e a r n i n g t r a d i t i o n , mastery r e f e r s t o a p a r t i c u l a r c r i t e r i o n l e v e l of achievement ( t y p i c a l l y 8 0 % ) . In t h i s s t u d y , mastery i s c o n c e i v e d as a continuum which i n d i c a t e s the degree or depth of s k i l l s , knowledge or l e a r n i n g a c q u i r e d by s t u d e n t s . No f i x e d c r i t e r i o n l e v e l i s i m p l i e d , and mastery i s used i n a r e l a t i v e r a t h e r than an a b s o l u t e sense. In c o n t r a s t t o mastery or depth of l e a r n i n g , coverage i s used t o r e f e r t o the b r e a d t h or amount of c u r r i c u l a r m a t e r i a l t o which s t u d e n t s a r e exposed. C o o p e r a t i o n i s used t o r e f e r t o s t u d e n t a t t e n d i n g b e h a v i o r as measured by on-task r a t e s . I n d i v i d u a l D i f f e r e n c e s and Speed of L e a r n i n g 5 As a p r e f a c e t o the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of t e a c h e r s t r a t e g i e s , how i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s and the r e l a t i o n s h i p t o l e a r n i n g have been r e g a r d e d i n the e d u c a t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e i s c o n s i d e r e d . I n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n l e a r n i n g i s a w e l l documented phenomenon which has been a c c e p t e d by many e d u c a t o r s and p s y c h o l o g i s t s ( A n a s t a s i , 1967; E l l i s , 1932; T y l e r , 1965). T y l e r (1965) d i s c u s s e d v a r i a b i l i t y i n s c h o o l accomplishment as the r u l e r a t h e r than the e x c e p t i o n . R e f e r r i n g t o a study by Learned and Wood (1938) she p o i n t e d out t h a t d i f f e r e n c e s w i t h i n a grade a r e f a r g r e a t e r than the average d i f f e r e n c e between grades. Thomas and Thomas (1965) concerned w i t h how t e a c h e r s d e a l w i t h i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n the c l a s s r o o m argued t h a t v a r i a b i l i t y i n human l e a r n i n g may be e x p r e s s e d as v a r i a b l i t y i n speed of l e a r n i n g . I t i s the v a r i a b i l i t y i n the speed of l e a r n i n g which they c o n s i d e r e d t o be p r o b l e m a t i c f o r t e a c h e r s . One of the d i f f i c u l t i e s they mentioned i s the problem of c o n d u c t i n g a h e t e r o g e n e o u s l y grouped c l a s s a t an average speed which they b e l i e v e l e a d s t o the f a s t e r s t u d e n t s b e i n g h e l d back and the slowe r s t u d e n t s b e i n g overwhelmed. E l l i s (1932) a l s o d i s c u s s e d speed of l e a r n i n g and the p r a c t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s i n v o l v e d i n e d u c a t i n g f a s t e r and s l o w e r " t h i n k e r s " i n the same room. The t e a c h e r a p p a r e n t l y has t o choose between the S c y l l a of f r u s t r a t i o n and the C h a r y b d i s of boredom. He argued t h a t i f the t e a c h e r adapts the work t o the b r i g h t e r s t u d e n t s "he t a l k s over the heads of the m a j o r i t y of the c l a s s and he t r a v e l s t o o f a s t f o r them" (p. 449). 6 C o n v e r s e l y , he argued t h a t a d a p t a t i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n t o the slower members of the c l a s s r a i s e s the s p e c t r e of boredom f o r the b e t t e r s t u d e n t s by " d w e l l i n g too l o n g on s i m p l e t h i n g s " (p. 449). E l l i s ' s o l u t i o n t o the problem was t o d e l a y e n t r y i n t o s c h o o l u n t i l c h i l d r e n had a t t a i n e d the a p p r o p r i a t e mental age and then t o c l a s s i f y the c h i l d r e n p r o p e r l y . These d i s c u s s i o n s of speed of l e a r n i n g appear t o have been m o t i v a t e d by the e f f o r t s of d i f f e r e n t i a l p s y c h o l o g i s t s t o c l a s s i f y and q u a n t i f y v a r i a t i o n i n mental a b i l i t y . In o t h e r words, speed of l e a r n i n g was t r e a t e d as an a d j u n c t of an a b i l i t i e s view of l e a r n i n g r a t h e r than as a c l a s s r o o m problem i n i t s own r i g h t . Common sense d i c t a t e s t h a t the e x i s t e n c e of f a s t e r and slowe r l e a r n e r s w i l l appear as a problem whenever the r e q u i r e m e n t of coverage of the c u r r i c u l u m i n a l i m i t e d time e x i s t s i n a group s e t t i n g . A review of some of the l i t e r a t u r e of the l a s t hundred y e a r s i n d i c a t e d t h a t the problem of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s was apprehended, but was not p l a c e d i n the c o n t e x t of d i f f e r e n t i a l time needs i n l e a r n i n g . T r a d i t i o n a l Methods f o r D e a l i n g w i t h F a s t and Slow L e a r n e r s An h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e v a l i d a t e s the common sense n o t i o n t h a t the e x i s t e n c e of f a s t e r and slowe r l e a r n e r s w i t h i n the same c l a s s r o o m i s p r o b l e m a t i c i n terms of coverage of the c u r r i c u l u m . The d i f f i c u l t y of c o v e r i n g the r e q u i r e d m a t e r i a l i n the a l l o t e d time i s i m p l i c i t i n many of the d i s c u s s i o n s of e a r l y t e a c h e r t r a i n e r s ( B a g l e y , 1907; B a g l e y , 1917; B e n n e t t , 1917; D u t t o n , 1903; S e a r s , 1918; S e e l e y , 1903; Whit e , 1893); 7 p r e s e r v i c e and i n s e r v i c e t e a c h e r s were e x h o r t e d t o make eve r y minute i n s c h o o l c o u n t . A l t h o u g h the d i f f i c u l t y of c u r r i c u l u m coverage w i t h f a s t e r and sl o w e r l e a r n e r s was not ad d r e s s e d e x p l i c i t l y , f o u r s t r a t e g i e s which appear t o be at t e m p t s t o a l l e v i a t e the problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n time needed t o l e a r n were i d e n t i f i e d ; they a r e i g n o r i n g , a d a p t i n g , g r a d i n g , and g r o u p i n g . I g n o r i n g . The w r i t e r s of the l a t e n i n e t e e n t h and e a r l y t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y t e x t b o o k s ( B a g l e y , 1907; B a g l e y , 1917; Be n n e t t , 1917; D u t t o n , 1903; S e a r s , 1918; S e e l e y , 1903; Whit e , 1893) r a r e l y d i r e c t l y a d d r e s s e d the problem of f a s t e r and slower l e a r n e r s . The p i c t u r e g e n e r a t e d by thes e e a r l y t e x t b o o k w r i t e r s i s t h a t of c l a s s e s p r o c e d i n g t h r o u g h a common c u r r i c u l u m a t a u n i f o r m r a t e . However t h a t the problem of d i f f e r e n t i a l l e a r n i n g r a t e s e x i s t e d , and was d i m l y p e r c e i v e d , i s r e f l e c t e d i n the e x t e n s i v e d i s c u s s i o n s of promotion p r a c t i c e s . I t seems t h a t a n n u a l l y , or s e m i a n n u a l l y , s t u d e n t p r o g r e s s was re v i e w e d . Those who had c o v e r e d the m a t e r i a l , and had made the grade, were promoted w h i l e those who f a i l e d t o keep pace were r e q u i r e d t o r e p e a t the y e a r ' s work. Such was the g e n e r a l c o n c e s s i o n t o i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . Once the r i t u a l was over f o r the year presumably the i g n o r e s t r a t e g y c o u l d be r e t u r n e d t o i t s p o s i t i o n of preeminence. A d a p t i n g . A l t h o u g h the tendency t o i g n o r e i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n time needed t o l e a r n appears t o have been wi d e s p r e a d t h e r e were some e x p e r i m e n t a l programs which a t t e m p t e d t o a d j u s t the pace of i n s t r u c t i o n t o i n d i v i d u a l s . 8 The B a t a v i a p l a n ( B e n n e t t , 1917) i n s t i t u t e d i n New York c i t y , u t i l i z e d the s e r v i c e s of an e x t r a t e a c h e r i n the c l a s s r o o m t o p r o v i d e t u t o r i a l h e l p so t h a t p u p i l s c o u l d be promoted more r a p i d l y . The Pueblo p l a n ( B e n n e t t , 1917) was s i m i l a r t o l a t t e r day mastery l e a r n i n g i n t h a t i t p e r m i t t e d time t o v a r y a c c o r d i n g t o the needs of i n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t s . The Cambridge d o u b l e - t r a c k p l a n ( S e a r s , 1918) acknowledged the n e c e s s i t y of d i f f e r e n t paces of i n s t r u c t i o n by d i v i d i n g c u r r i c u l a r c o n t e n t i n t o two s e c t i o n s t o accommodate f a s t and slow l e a r n e r s . None of t h e s e i n n o v a t i v e a l t e r n a t i v e s t o whole c l a s s t e a c h i n g , ' which i n v o l v e d the a d a p t a t i o n of the r a t e of c u r r i c u l a r m a t e r i a l s t o the time needs of c h i l d r e n , appears t o have been w i d e l y u t i l i z e d . A r e a s o n a b l e c o n c l u s i o n i s the s t r a t e g y of i g n o r i n g i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s was f u n c t i o n a l i n t h a t i t e n a b l e d t e a c h e r s , l a c k i n g i n s o p h i s t i c a t e d t r a i n i n g , t o d e a l w i t h the problem of b r i n g i n g v a s t numbers of c h i l d r e n t o m i n i m a l l e v e l s of competency i n b a s i c s u b j e c t s . G r a d i n g . The r i s e of the t e s t i n g movement a f t e r World War One not o n l y s e n s i t i z e d e d u c a t o r s t o i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n a b i l i t y , but p r o v i d e d a means whereby th e s e c o u l d be q u a n t i f i e d . A c c o r d i n g l y , t e s t s were used t o s e g r e g a t e c h i l d r e n i n t o c l a s s e s on the b a s i s of a b i l i t y . Breed (1933) made i t a b u n d a n t l y c l e a r t h a t the impetus t o "grade", or t o s o r t , was p r o v i d e d , not by the p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o n v i c t i o n of the need t o accommodate i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s , but by the more p r a g m a t i c c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the problem of pace. C l a s s e s composed of c h i l d r e n w i t h heterogeneous 9 l e a r n i n g r a t e s posed the problem of a p p r o p r i a t e p a c i n g . The s o l u t i o n was t o group t o g e t h e r c h i l d r e n h i g h i n a b i l i t y who l e a r n e d q u i c k l y . so t h a t they c o u l d cover the m a t e r i a l a t a f a s t e r r a t e . C h i l d r e n low i n a b i l i t y who l e a r n e d more s l o w l y were a l s o grouped t o g e t h e r so t h a t they c o u l d c o v e r the work-at a s l o w e r r a t e . The assumption seems t o have been t h a t the placement of c h i l d r e n who were homogeneous i n a b i l i t y i n the same grade would make homogeneous p a c i n g more e f f i c i e n t . A fundamental f l a w i n the r a t i o n a l e of the g r a d i n g approach was the assumption t h a t homogeneity of a b i l i t y or achievement was u n i f o r m a c r o s s s e v e r a l s c h o o l s u b j e c t s . In o t h e r words, i t was a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t i f a c l a s s was homogeneous on one d i m e n s i o n , f o r example r e a d i n g , they would a l s o be homogeneous on o t h e r d i m e n s i o n s . I t was demonstrated t h a t a r e d u c t i o n of the w i t h i n c l a s s v a r i a n c e on one dimension was not n e c e s s a r i l y accompanied by a r e d u c t i o n of w i t h i n c l a s s v a r i a n c e on o t h e r d i m e n s i o n s (Goodlad and Anderson, 1959). ( T h i s assumption i s d i s c u s s e d f u r t h e r i n c h a p t e r t h r e e i n the s e c t i o n e n t i t l e d " n a r r o w i n g the r a n g e " ) . A c c o r d i n g l y , g r a d i n g t u r n e d out not t o be the pedagogic panacea. G r o u p i n g . The f o r m a t i o n of c l a s s e s homogeneous i n a b i l i t y tends t o be eschewed by modern e d u c a t o r s as e l i t i s t i n n a t u r e : heterogeneous c l a s s e s a r e p r e f e r r e d on s o c i o l o g i c a l and academic grounds ( E s p o s i t o , 1973; Rosenbaum, 1980). T h i s s h i f t i n p h i l o s o p h y a g a i n c o n f r o n t s the t e a c h e r w i t h the problem of f a s t and slow l e a r n e r s and the d i f f i c u l t y of 10 c h o o s i n g an a p p r o p r i a t e pace. Many p r i m a r y t e a c h e r s choose a g r o u p i n g s t r a t e g y t o a m e l i o r a t e p a c i n g d i f f i c u l t i e s ( B a r r , 1975). Grouping r e f e r s t o the p r a c t i c e of s u b d i v i d i n g c h i l d r e n , w i t h i n the same c l a s s , i n t o groups f o r i n s t r u c t i o n . The g r o u p i n g of c h i l d r e n w i t h i n the same c l a s s may h e l p accommodate f a s t e r and slowe r l e a r n e r s , but l i k e l y p r e s e n t s the t e a c h e r w i t h time a l l o c a t i o n d i f f i c u l t i e s . A c r i t i c a l problem of g r o u p i n g i s the q u e s t i o n of how much i n s t r u c t i o n a l time a t e a c h e r can p r o v i d e f o r each group, g i v e n t h a t the t o t a l time f o r t e a c h i n g remains c o n s t a n t . How f a r g r o u p i n g a m e l i o r a t e s p a c i n g d i f f i c u l t i e s a t the expense of e x a c e r b a t i n g time a l l o c a t i o n problems i s worth c o n s i d e r i n g . Four ways of c o p i n g w i t h the problem of f a s t e r and slo w e r l e a r n e r s have been i d e n t i f i e d . A d a p t i n g the r a t e of i n s t r u c t i o n w i t h i n a c l a s s appears t o have been used i n a l i m i t e d way, and i n programs which were r e c o g n i z e d as i n n o v a t i v e . I g n o r i n g , g r a d i n g and g r o u p i n g were i d e n t i f i e d as major c o p i n g s t r a t e g i e s p r e f e r r e d a t d i f f e r e n t t i m e s d u r i n g the l a s t hundred y e a r s . The wid e s p r e a d use of the s t r a t e g i e s suggest t h a t they were responses of e d u c a t i o n systems, r a t h e r than of i n d i v i d u a l t e a c h e r s , t o the problem of d i f f e r e n c e s i n l e a r n i n g r a t e s . The problem f a c e d by e d u c a t i o n systems, how to accommodate s t u d e n t s w i t h d i f f e r i n g time needs, i s a l s o f a c e d by the i n d i v i d u a l t e a c h e r w i t h i n a c l a s s r o o m . In s p i t e of the apparent d i f f i c u l t i e s i n h e r e n t i n d i f f e r e n t i a l l e a r n i n g r a t e s , the r e g u l a r i t y w i t h which c o u n t l e s s t e a c h e r s c o n f r o n t numerous c l a s s e s suggest t h a t c o p i n g mechanisms e v o l v e . G i v e n 11 the c o m p l e x i t y , m u l t i d i m e n s i o n a l i t y and the s i m u l t a n e i t y of c l a s s r o o m s ( D o y l e , 1979; J a c k s o n , 1968) and the c o l l e c t i v e n a t u r e of s c h o o l i n g (Dreeben, 1970), the emergence of s e v e r a l s t r a t e g i e s was a n t i c i p a t e d . The t y p e s of s t r a t e g i e s used by t e a c h e r s , and the p a r t i c u l a r f u n c t i o n t hey s e r v e , were i n v e s t i g a t e d i n the p r e s e n t s t u d y . Time Needed t o Learn Human v a r i a t i o n i n a b i l i t i e s i s o f t e n e x p r e s s e d as v a r i a t i o n i n l e v e l of l e a r n i n g , or achievement, r a t h e r than as v a r i a t i o n i n time needed, or r a t e of l e a r n i n g . In the t r a d i t i o n a l view i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n achievement a r e p u r p o r t e d t o r e f l e c t ' ' d i f f e r e n c e s i n b a s i c a b i l i t i e s or a p t i t u d e s ( T y l e r , 1965). The assumption i s t h a t as an o r g a n i s m i c v a r i a b l e , a b i l i t y or a p t i t u d e i s a r e l a t i v e l y e n d u r i n g and s t a b l e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the i n d i v i d u a l which i s not amenable t o l a r g e change t h r o u g h e n v i r o n m e n t a l m a n i p u l a t i o n s . An a l t e r n a t i v e way of v i e w i n g i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s was proposed by C a r r o l l (1963); the concept of time was i n t r o d u c e d as a c e n t r a l v a r i a b l e i n s c h o o l l e a r n i n g . In the C a r r o l l model the u s u a l c o n c e p t i o n of a p t i t u d e s as p r e d i c t i n g the l e v e l of achievement, g i v e n c o n s t a n t i n s t r u c t i o n a l t i m e , i s transmuted t o a c o n c e p t i o n of a p t i t u d e s as p r e d i c t i n g the time n e c e s s a r y t o r e a c h a g i v e n l e v e l of performance, under c o n d i t i o n s of o p t i m a l i n s t r u c t i o n . In e f f e c t i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n a p t i t u d e s a r e c o n c e p t u a l l y t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n l e a r n i n g t i m e . I t 12 s h o u l d be noted t h a t t h i s c o n c e p t u a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n does not l o g i c a l l y e n t a i l a r e j e c t i o n of the premise of r e l a t i v e l y s t a b l e i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . The Advantages of Time as a M e t r i c The r e c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n a b i l i t i e s as d i f f e r e n c e s i n time needed t o l e a r n does not merely s a t i s f y the d i c t a t e s of academic a e s t h e t i c s . Both C a r r o l l (1963) and Bloom (1974) applauded the advantages of time as a r a t i o s c a l e : i t has an a b s o l u t e z e r o p o i n t and e q u a l u n i t s of measurement. Bloom (1974) a l s o p o i n t e d t o the f a c t t h a t i t a l l o w s c l e a r and unambiguous comparisons of i n d i v i d u a l s . I t i s t h i s l a t t e r p o i n t of c o m p a r a b i l i t y amongst i n d i v i d u a l s which makes time an a t t r a c t i v e m e t r i c f o r those who seek t o u n d e r s t a n d the c o m p l e x i t i e s of the t e a c h e r ' s t a s k . From an a b i l i t i e s v i e w p o i n t , the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of c h i l d r e n r e q u i r e s e x t e n s i v e p s y c h o m e t r i c assessment which i s time consuming, and o f t e n not a v a i l a b l e t o e i t h e r a t e a c h e r or a r e s e a r c h e r . On the o t h e r hand, d i f f e r e n c e s between c h i l d r e n i n terms of the time r e q u i r e d t o f i n i s h a s s i g n m e n t s , l e a r n m u l t i p l i c a t i o n t a b l e s , and t o read s t o r i e s i s r e a d i l y and f r e q u e n t l y a v a i l a b l e t o an o b s e r v e r . T h e r e f o r e , i t i s proposed t h a t the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of v a r i a t i o n i n human l e a r n i n g i n terms of time i s a p r a g m a t i c way of i n v e s t i g a t i n g the d i f f i c u l t i e s t h a t i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s p r e s e n t t o the t e a c h e r . In the C a r r o l l model time t a k e n t o r e a c h a p a r t i c u l a r 13 l e v e l of achievement i s of s i g n i f i c a n c e . T h i s p e r m i t s the c a l c u l a t i o n of a v a r i a b l e , l e a r n i n g r a t e , which r e f l e c t s the amount l e a r n e d per u n i t of t i m e . On a day-to-day b a s i s i t seems u n r e a l i s t i c t o a n t i c i p a t e t h a t a concept as p r e c i s e as l e a r n i n g r a t e w i l l have u t i l i t a r i a n v a l u e f o r busy t e a c h e r s . I t i s proposed t h a t the work of the t e a c h e r i s perhaps more a p p r o p r i a t e l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the m o n i t o r i n g of assignments than by the p r e c i s e assessment of achievement. C o n s e q u e n t l y , speed of w o r k i n g , or r a t e of performance, r a t h e r than l e a r n i n g r a t e which i n v o l v e s the assessment of s t u d e n t achievement, i s l i k e l y of g r e a t e r p r a c t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . I t i s suggested t h a t time needed t o f i n i s h a s s i g n m e n t s , r a t h e r than time needed t o l e a r n ( i n the sense of measured a c h i e v e m e n t ) , i s of immediate i n t e r e s t t o t e a c h e r s . T h e r e f o r e , how t e a c h e r s cope w i t h i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n performance r a t e s , r a t h e r than l e a r n i n g r a t e s , was the c e n t r a l c o n c e r n of t h i s s t u d y . Time as an E d u c a t i o n a l Resource: An Economic Analogy The c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n terms of o b s e r v a b l e time elements has the a d d i t i o n a l advantage t h a t the e d u c a t i o n a l needs of c h i l d r e n may be e x p r e s s e d i n terms of the amount of i n s t r u c t i o n a l time needed. In o t h e r words, time may be t r e a t e d as i f i t were a r e s o u r c e and t h e r e f o r e c a p a b l e of b e i n g a l l o c a t e d t o s t u d e n t s i n much the same way as t e x t b o o k s and o t h e r r e s o u r c e s . Large s c a l e s t u d i e s of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between time and achievement (Bo r g , 1979; F r e d r i c k and Walberg, 1980; W i l e y and 1 4 H a r n i s c h f e g e r , 1974) s u p p o r t the i d e a t h a t p o t e n t i a l l y time i s an i m p o r t a n t r e s o u r c e f o r l e a r n i n g . The t r e a t m e n t of time as a r e s o u r c e and i t s i n f l u e n c e on achievement i s known as a p r o d u c t i o n f u n c t i o n view of s c h o o l i n g (Thomas, 1971). In the p r o d u c t i o n f u n c t i o n f o r m u l a t i o n time i s r e g a r d e d as an i n p u t and s t u d e n t achievement as an o u t p u t . B a r r and Dreeben (1977) argued t h a t i f a p r o d u c t i o n f u n c t i o n view of e d u c a t i o n , where i n p u t s a r e t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o o u t p u t s , i s a c c e p t e d , then i t becomes i m p o r t a n t t o u n d e r s t a n d the p r o c e s s e s which c o n t r o l the a l l o c a t i o n of r e s o u r c e s . A l t h o u g h t h e i r o r i g i n a l argument r e f e r r e d t o u n d e r s t a n d i n g the p r o c e s s e s which c o n t r o l r e s o u r c e a l l o c a t i o n f o r an e d u c a t i o n a l system, i t seems e q u a l l y as a p p o s i t e a t the l e v e l of the c l a s s r o o m . A p r o d u c t i o n f u n c t i o n view of the c l a s s r o o m , where time i n p u t s a r e t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o achievement o u t p u t s , l e n d s urgency t o the n e c e s s i t y of u n d e r s t a n d i n g the p r o c e s s e s which c o n t r o l the a l l o c a t i o n of r e s o u r c e s a t t h i s l e v e l . A l t h o u g h the amount of time a v a i l a b l e f o r s c h o o l l e a r n i n g t y p i c a l l y has a f i x e d l e g a l l i m i t (which i n B r i t i s h Columbia i s 25 hours per week), e l e m e n t a r y t e a c h e r s have c o n s i d e r a b l e j u r i s d i c t i o n r e g a r d i n g how t h a t time w i l l be used. Given t h a t time i s a l i m i t e d r e s o u r c e i t seems u n l i k e l y t h a t t e a c h e r s w i l l be a b l e t o p r o v i d e o p t i m a l l y f o r a l l l e a r n e r s . How they attempt t o meet the time needs of s t u d e n t s , w i t h i n the c o n s t r a i n t s imposed by the c o l l e c t i v e n a t u r e of s c h o o l i n g , was the concern of t h i s s t u d y . 1 5 The Nature of the Study The p a r t i c u l a r s t y l e of t h i s endeavour w a r r a n t s some p r e f a t o r y remarks. The i n t e n t i o n was t o " h o l d a m i r r o r up t o n a t u r e " i n o r d e r t o r e f l e c t l i f e i n c l a s s r o o m s as i t i s l i v e d . The methodology then was n a t u r a l i s t i c r a t h e r than e x p e r i m e n t a l ; the emphasis was on d e s c r i p t i o n r a t h e r than m a n i p u l a t i o n and c o n t r o l of v a r i a b l e s , on h y p o t h e s i s g e n e r a t i o n r a t h e r than h y p o t h e s i s t e s t i n g . One c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the n a t u r a l i s t i c approach i s t h a t the phenomena under i n v e s t i g a t i o n d i c t a t e the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of the r e s e a r c h problem. W i t h i n the n a t u r a l i s t i c framework, the r e s e a r c h problem i s dynamic r a t h e r than s t a t i c , t y p i c a l l y u n d e r g o i n g development and m o d i f i c a t i o n . I t i s a p p r o p r i a t e a t t h i s j u n c t u r e t o i n d i c a t e the development of the problem i n the c u r r e n t i n v e s t i g a t i o n . The Development of the Problem The c u r r e n t i n v e s t i g a t i o n began w i t h the q u e s t i o n of how t e a c h e r s cope w i t h s t u d e n t s who d i f f e r i n time needs, when t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i n c l u d e c o v e r i n g a p a r t i c u l a r c u r r i c u l u m i n a l i m i t e d amount of t i m e . Time was c o n s i d e r e d t o be a l i m i t e d r e s o u r c e which would be used by t e a c h e r s t o enhance s t u d e n t l e a r n i n g . I t was a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t s t u d e n t s would v a r y i n the amount of time they needed t o do work, but i t was assumed t h a t t e a c h e r s would accommodate t o s t u d e n t needs i n accordance w i t h the d i c t a t e s of m a x i m i z i n g s t u d e n t 16 l e a r n i n g . The accommodations made by t e a c h e r s were e x p e c t e d t o r e v e a l c o p i n g s t r a t e g i e s . A fundamental assumption u n d e r l y i n g t h e s e e x p e c t a t i o n s , and a c c o r d i n g t o Doyle (1979), an u n d e r l y i n g premise of most r e s e a r c h on t e a c h i n g , i s t h a t t e a c h i n g i s a r a t i o n a l a c t which may be u n d e r s t o o d i n terms of means and ends; t e a c h i n g i s seen as the means t o r e a c h the o b j e c t i v e , s t u d e n t l e a r n i n g (Gage, 1978). C o n s e q u e n t l y , the o r i g i n a l assumption made, t h a t time i n s c h o o l would be u t i l i z e d by t e a c h e r s t o enhance s t u d e n t l e a r n i n g , i s an assumption shared by most r e s e a r c h e r s of t e a c h i n g . D u r i n g the c o u r s e of the p r e s e n t s t u d y , i t became apparent t h a t the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of the r o l e of the t e a c h e r as m a x i m i z i n g s t u d e n t achievement was inadequate t o account f o r the d a t a c o l l e c t e d . In some c a s e s , the d a t a suggested t h a t r a t h e r than enhance l e a r n i n g , the t e a c h e r a c t i v e l y m a n i p u l a t e d c o n d i t i o n s t o p r e v e n t l e a r n i n g from o c c u r r i n g . These o b s e r v a t i o n s which ran c o u n t e r both t o i n t u i t i o n , and t o e s t a b l i s h e d b e l i e f s about the f u n c t i o n of t e a c h i n g , demanded e x p l a n a t i o n . In o r d e r t o accommodate the c o u n t e r - i n t u i t i v e o b s e r v a t i o n s , a r e c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of the r o l e of the t e a c h e r i s proposed. I t i s suggested i n the p r e s e n t study t h a t c l a s s r o o m p r o c e s s e s make b e t t e r sense, i f they a r e i n t e r p r e t e d as f u n c t i o n i n g t o enhance t e a c h e r u t i l i t i e s r a t h e r than t o maximize s t u d e n t l e a r n i n g . To s u p p o r t t h i s view the argument i s advanced t h a t the enhancement of t e a c h e r u t i l i t i e s i s a c h i e v e d t h r o u g h the c r e a t i o n and maintenance of an 1 7 e q u i l i b r i u m between the time needs of the i n d i v i d u a l and the time needs of the c l a s s . S p e c i f i c a l l y , i t i s argued t h a t c l a s s r o o m p r o c e s s e s may be i n t e r p r e t e d as f u n c t i o n i n g t o e f f e c t a b a l a n c e between c o v e r a g e , mastery, and c o o p e r a t i o n . U n d e r l y i n g t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t e a c h i n g i s a model of the c l a s s r o o m as a h o m e o s t a t i c system. The remainder of t h i s r e p o r t i s an attempt t o document how t e a c h e r s t r a t e g i e s f o r c o p i n g w i t h i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n time needed t o l e a r n may be i n t e r p r e t e d as an e f f o r t a f t e r e q u i l i b r i u m . The i d e a of e q u i l i b r i u m has p r o v i d e d the b a s i s f o r much t h e o r i z i n g i n p s y c h o l o g y . The common denominator of the v a r i o u s dynamic approaches i n p s y c h o l o g y i s the c o n c e p t i o n of l i v i n g t h i n g s as systems which t e n d t o m a i n t a i n a dynamic e q u i l i b r i u m i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e i r environment. The i n d i v i d u a l i s c o n c e i v e d as a system whose components m a i n t a i n a r e l a t i v e f l e x i b i l i t y of i n t e r r e l a t i o n s ; v a r i a t i o n i n one a s p e c t of the system may induce compensating changes i n o t h e r a s p e c t s , thus m a i n t a i n i n g the i n t e g r e t y of the system ( D e u t s c h , 1968, p. 421). The b i o l o g i c a l n o t i o n of a s e l f - r e g u l a t i n g system has been a p p l i e d t o the ps y c h o l o g y of i n d i v i d u a l s and t o the p s y c h o l o g y of groups. A model of the i n d i v i d u a l as a h o m e o s t a t i c system p r o v i d e s the c o n c e p t u a l u n d e r p i n n i n g s f o r the t h e o r i e s of F e s t i n g e r (1957), H u l l (1952), Lewin (1946) and P i a g e t (1975). S i m i l a r l y , a model of s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n as h o m e o s t a t i c u n d e r l i e s the t h e o r i e s of H e i d e r (1958) and Newcomb (1956). In the p r e s e n t s t u d y , the i d e a i s devel o p e d t h a t time r e l a t e d a s p e c t s of t e a c h e r b e h a v i o r may be i n t e r p r e t e d as a t t e m p t s t o e s t a b l i s h and m a i n t a i n an e q u i l i b r i u m between competing demands i n the c l a s s r o o m . 18 G e n e r a l P e r s p e c t i v e s or Fundamental Assumptions I t has become f a s h i o n a b l e t o bemoan the f a c t t h a t a p a r t i c u l a r Weltanschauung can have a s i g n i f i c a n t i n f l u e n c e upon r e s e a r c h . The argument i s t h a t a problem f o r m u l a t e d from w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r p e r s p e c t i v e can y i e l d no f u r t h e r i n s i g h t s than a r e a l l o w e d by the c o n s t r i c t i n g frame of i t s o r i g i n a l f o r m u l a t i o n . I t has been suggested t h a t such c o n d i t i o n s make " o b j e c t i v e " s c i e n c e i m p o s s i b l e (Kuhn, 1962). S i m i l a r l y , Cohen (1953) r e j e c t e d the n o t i o n of the s c i e n t i s t as det a c h e d o b s e r v e r . He argued p e r s u a s i v e l y t h a t : i f the term s c i e n t i f i c method i s used i n any s i g n i f i c a n t sense i t cannot be s a i d t o b e g i n w i t h a t a b u l a r a s a and pure s e n s e - i m p r e s s i o n s on i t (p. 7 8 ) . In Cohen's view, the n e c e s s i t y of c o l l e c t i n g the f a c t s which have some b e a r i n g on an i n q u i r y , depends upon whether our i d e a s as t o how t h a t which i s sought f o r can p o s s i b l y be r e l a t e d t o what we a c t u a l l y know. A c c o r d i n g l y , b a s i c assumptions about the w o r l d and about a c q u i s t i o n of knowledge ar e not " e r r o r s " t o be s y s t e m a t i c a l l y e l i m i n a t e d but i m p o r t a n t c o n t r o l l i n g f a c t o r s i n the way i n which we view and s t a t e problems. T h i s v i e w p o i n t r e j e c t s the i d e a of extreme p o s i t i v i s m or " b l i n d " e m p i r i c i s m , u n t a r n i s h e d by i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . However, the acknowledgement t h a t s c i e n c e can never be t r u l y v a l u e f r e e , or c o m p l e t e l y s t r i p p e d of i n t e r p r e t i v e f a c t o r s , need not l i c e n c e s u b j e c t i v i t y . The r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t 19 fundamental assumptions or p e r s p e c t i v e s have the p o t e n t i a l t o i n f l u e n c e i n q u i r y c a r r i e s w i t h i t the o b l i g a t i o n t o e l u c i d a t e as f a r as i s p o s s i b l e the p r i n c i p l e s g u i d i n g the r e s e a r c h . Two s c h o o l s of thought have i n f l u e n c e d the conduct of the p r e s e n t s t u d y ; the e c o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n i n p s y c h o l o g y and the f u n c t i o n a l i s t approach i n s o c i o l o g y . A fundamental assumption of an e c o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n i s t h a t b e h a v i o r a r i s e s as a response t o e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n s t r a i n t s . W i l l e m s (1965) argued t h a t an e c o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n has two f a c e t s , m e t h o d o l o g i c a l and c o n c e p t u a l . C o n c e p t u a l l y , the environment i s r e g a r d e d as a s e t of f a c t o r s which a c t i v a t e b e h a v i o r . The methodology of an e c o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n f o l l o w s as a l o g i c a l consequence of t h i s p r i n c i p l e ; e c o l o g i c a l p s y c h o l o g i s t s c o l l e c t d a t a i n s i t u because the d a t a c o l l e c t e d i n a c o n t r o l l e d e x periment may not r e f l e c t b e h a v i o r i n the n a t u r a l environment. Whereas the e c o l o g i c a l p s y c h o l o g i s t may be s a t i s f i e d w i t h d e l i n e a t i n g the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of s e t t i n g s which e l i c i t p a r t i c u l a r b e h a v i o r s , the s o c i o l o g i s t of a f u n c t i o n a l i s t p e r s u a s i o n would be i n c l i n e d t o d e l v e f u r t h e r . F u n c t i o n a l i s m adopts the p o s t u r e t h a t phenomena i n a s o c i a l s e t t i n g s e r v e a f u n c t i o n . The p a r t i c u l a r s t a n c e adopted i n the p r e s e n t work r e f l e c t s the r e l a t i v e f u n c t i o n a l i s m of Robert Merton (1967). A c c o r d i n g l y s e v e r a l f u r t h e r a s s u m p t i o n s , emanating from Merton's c r i t i q u e of a b s o l u t e f u n c t i o n a l i s m , r e q u i r e a t t e n t i o n . I t i s assumed t h a t b e h a v i o r i s not n e c e s s a r i l y u n i f o r m l y f u n c t i o n a l f o r a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s i n a s o c i a l group, 20 and n e i t h e r must a l l s o c i a l elements f u l f i l a f u n c t i o n . F u r t h e r , i t i s assumed t h a t f u n c t i o n a l a l t e r n a t i v e s or s u b s t i t u t e s may e x i s t . The f u n c t i o n a l approach adopted i n the c u r r e n t s t u d y assumes t h a t " f u n c t i o n s are those observed consequences which make f o r the a d a p t a t i o n or adjustment of a g i v e n system" (Merton, 1967, p. 105). C o n v e r s e l y , i t i s assumed t h a t b e h a v i o r may a l s o be d y s f u n c t i o n a l or l e s s e n the a d a p t a t i o n or adjustment of the system. F i n a l l y , i t i s assumed t h a t some f u n c t i o n s may be r e c o g n i z e d and i n t e n d e d by the i n d i v i d u a l s i n v o l v e d , c a l l e d m a n i f e s t f u n c t i o n s by Merton, and t h a t o t h e r f u n c t i o n s a r e the u n i n t e n d e d and u n r e c o g n i z e d consequences of the b e h a v i o r (named l a t e n t f u n c t i o n s ) . The d i s a d v a n t a g e of a d o p t i n g a p a r t i c u l a r p e r s p e c t i v e has been ackowledged; the argument t h a t paradigms have a s t r u c t u r i n g or c o n t r o l l i n g i n f l u e n c e i s conceded. However, the e x i s t e n c e of fundamental assumptions which g u i d e i n q u i r y need not n e c e s s a r i l y be d i s a d v a n t a g e o u s ; p e r s p e c t i v e s need not be judged as " r i g h t " or "wrong", but merely more or l e s s u s e f u l . T h i s suggests t h a t the v a l u e of an e c o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n and a f u n c t i o n a l approach i n the c u r r e n t work i s the e x t e n t t o which they l e n d coherence t o an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of how t e a c h e r s cope w i t h the problem of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n time needs. 21 Method of P r e s e n t a t i o n I t i s a p p r o p r i a t e a t t h i s p o i n t t o make a few remarks c o n c e r n i n g the c h a r a c t e r of the p r e s e n t a t i o n of t h i s s t u d y . The reader i s i n v i t e d t o accompany the a u t h o r on an i n t e l l e c t u a l e x p l o r a t i o n of the s t r a t e g i e s f o r c o p i n g w i t h i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . I n t e l l e c t u a l e x p l o r a t i o n s , l i k e g e o g r a p h i c a l ones, have s t a r t i n g p o i n t s , but o n l y g r a d u a l l y r e v e a l t h e i r d e s t i n a t i o n . P r e s e n t a t i o n s of t h i s n a t u r e n e c e s s a r i l y t a k e on the c h a r a c t e r of a s l o w l y u n f o l d i n g s t o r y . T h i s s t y l e of p r e s e n t a t i o n d e p a r t s from the c o n v e n t i o n of a p p r i s i n g the reader of the argument a t the o u t s e t . The absence of a w e l l - r e a s o n e d r a t i o n a l e a t the b e g i n n i n g of such n a r r a t i v e s demands p a t i e n c e and c o o p e r a t i o n from the r e a d e r , f o r he must w a i t u n t i l the end t o d i s c o v e r the w r i t e r ' s c o n c l u s i o n s . The advantage of t h i s s t y l e of p r e s e n t a t i o n i s t h a t i t p e r m i t s the r e a d e r t o f o l l o w more c l o s e l y the development of the w r i t e r ' s t h i n k i n g . S e v e r a l a r e a s of c l a s s r o o m l i f e appeared p o t e n t i a l l y f r u i t f u l t o i n v e s t i g a t e . G r o u p i n g f o r i n s t r u c t i o n , pace of i n s t r u c t i o n , time a l l o c a t i o n , s t u d e n t t i m e - o n - t a s k , and t y p e s of a c t i v i t i e s were i d e n t i f i e d as a r e a s l i k e l y t o p r o v i d e d a t a which might i l l u m i n a t e the problem of d i f f e r e n t i a l time needs. A l t h o u g h p o t e n t i a l i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s between th e s e a r e a s i s r e c o g n i z e d ( f o r example g r o u p i n g f o r i n s t r u c t i o n may i n f l u e n c e time a l l o c a t i o n , and type of a c t i v i t y i s l i k e l y r e l a t e d t o s t u d e n t t i m e - o n - t a s k ) , f o r a n a l y t i c purposes each a r e a i s the f o c u s of a s e p a r a t e c h a p t e r . A l t h o u g h the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of 22 each a r e a was conducted s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , i n o r d e r t o enhance coherenc e , a l i n e a r o r g a n i z a t i o n has been adopted. T y p i c a l l y , each c h a p t e r opens w i t h a review of the l i t e r a t u r e p e r t i n e n t t o the a r e a under c o n s i d e r a t i o n . The l i t e r a t u r e r e v i e w i s i n t e n d e d t o demonstrate the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the t o p i c , and t o p r o v i d e a c o n t e x t f o r the p r e s e n t a t i o n of the d a t a . Data p r e s e n t a t i o n i s f o l l o w e d by a d i s c u s s i o n and, i n s e v e r a l c a s e s , by the p r e s e n t a t i o n of a d d i t i o n a l d a t a c o l l e c t e d by a l t e r n a t e means. The a d d i t i o n a l d a t a a r e i n c l u d e d t o c o r r o b o r a t e , or i l l u m i n a t e f u r t h e r , a s p e c t s r a i s e d i n the d i s c u s s i o n . G e n e r a l l y each c h a p t e r i s c o n c l u d e d w i t h a summary of the major f i n d i n g s and some remarks which a r e i n t e n d e d t o i n t e g r a t e the v a r i o u s themes which emerged i n the c o u r s e of the s t u d y . One of the outcomes of t h i s s tudy was the development of a p a r t i c u l a r view of c l a s s r o o m p r o c e s s e s . The view of c l a s s r o o m s g e n e r a t e d from the d a t a c o l l e c t e d i n t h i s s tudy i s p r e s e n t e d t o the r e a d e r t h r o u g h the use of a n a l o g i e s . T h i s s t y l e of t h i n k i n g which r e c u r s throughout t h i s s tudy r e q u i r e s a c a u t i o n a r y n o t e . One of the dangers of u t i l i z i n g a n a l o g i e s which must be guarded a g a i n s t i s the tendency t o r e i f i c a t i o n . A c c o r d i n g l y , the reader i s c a u t i o n e d t h a t i n the manner d e s c r i b e d by Kaplan (1964), the a n a l o g i e s and metaphors used throughout t h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n are i n t e n d e d o n l y t o d i r e c t a t t e n t i o n t o c e r t a i n resemblances between the t h e o r e t i c a l e n t i t i e s and the r e a l s u b j e c t m a t t e r . 23 O r g a n i z a t i o n . of the Study The o r g a n i z a t i o n of the remainder of the s t u d y i s as f o l l o w s . Chapter two opens w i t h a d i s c u s s i o n of n a t u r a l i s t i c and e x p e r i m e n t a l r e s e a r c h and c o n t a i n s d e t a i l s of the d e s i g n of the study w i t h i n the n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigm. Chapter t h r e e d e s c r i b e s how the c l a s s e s were o r g a n i z e d f o r i n s t r u c t i o n and proposes t h a t the p r o c e s s e s of " l e v e l i n g and s h a r p e n i n g " ( d i s r e g a r d i n g and r e s p o n d i n g t o the s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s amongst s t u d e n t s ) i n f l u e n c e t e a c h e r g r o u p i n g d e c i s i o n s . The t a s k of the t e a c h e r i s c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as a t t e m p t i n g t o e s t a b l i s h an e q u i l i b r i u m between the demands of l e a r n e r s who d i f f e r i n a b i l i t y or a p t i t u d e and a c u r r i c u l u m which must be c o v e r e d i n a l i m i t e d amount of t i m e . The o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n i s i n t e r p r e t e d as a s t r a t e g y t o e f f e c t t h i s e q u i l i b r i u m . In c h a p t e r f o u r v a r i a t i o n i n time needed t o l e a r n i s i n v e s t i g a t e d more c l o s e l y . In s p i t e of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a t t e m p t s t o accommodate d i f f e r e n t i a l performance r a t e s , t e a c h e r s were s t i l l f a c e d w i t h the problem of what t o do w i t h f a s t and slow w o r k e r s . T h i s c h a p t e r c o n t a i n s d e s c r i p t i o n s of the s t r a t e g i e s d e v e l o p e d by t e a c h e r s t o e f f e c t an e q u i l i b r i u m between f a s t and slow f i n i s h e r s . In c h a p t e r f i v e , pace of i n s t r u c t i o n i s c o n s i d e r e d as r e p r e s e n t i n g o p p o r t u n i t y t o l e a r n . I t i s s u g g ested t h a t b a s i c o r i e n t a t i o n s of t e a c h e r s towards depth of l e a r n i n g ( m a s t e r y ) , or b r e a d t h of l e a r n i n g ( c o v e r a g e ) , i n f l u e n c e the pace of i n s t r u c t i o n . I t i s argued t h a t pace i s m a n i p u l a t e d by 24 t e a c h e r s t o b a l a n c e c u r r i c u l a r coverage w i t h meeting the time needs of i n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t s . I t i s f u r t h e r s u g g ested t h a t p a c i n g a c c o r d i n g t o the time needs of s l o w e r l e a r n i n g c h i l d r e n (a mastery o r i e n t a t i o n ) l i k e l y r e s u l t s i n reduced o p p o r t u n i t y to l e a r n f o r f a s t e r l e a r n e r s . In c h a p t e r s i x , how t e a c h e r s a l l o c a t e time t o the c l a s s , and t o the groups w i t h i n the c l a s s , i s i n v e s t i g a t e d . The t e a c h e r i s c o n s i d e r e d as a u t i l i t a r i a n p r a g m a t i s t and time a l l o c a t i o n d e c i s i o n s a r e i n t e r p r e t e d as f u n c t i o n i n g t o reduce p o s s i b l e management problems. I t i s s u g g e s t e d t h a t g r e a t e r a l l o c a t i o n of time t o s l o w e r workers l i k e l y r e f l e c t s a d e s i r e t o have the m a j o r i t y of s t u d e n t s master a l i m i t e d number of o b j e c t i v e s r a t h e r than t o c o v e r the c u r r i c u l u m a t the expense of s u p e r f i c i a l l e a r n i n g f o r most .of the c l a s s . Time used f o r mastery r a t h e r than coverage i s i n t e r p r e t e d as m a i n t a i n i n g an e q u i l i b r i u m between f a s t and slow w o r k e r s . In c h a p t e r seven the d i s t i c t i o n between a l l o c a t e d time and t i m e - o n - t a s k i s p u r s u e d . I t i s r e c o g n i z e d t h a t the a l l o c a t i o n of time t o s t u d e n t s does not guarantee i t s wise use. Time on academic t a s k s and time on non-academic t a s k s i s i n v e s t i g a t e d . The r e s u l t s suggest t h a t a l t h o u g h f a s t e r l e a r n e r s have h i g h e r t o t a l o n-task r a t e s than s l o w e r l e a r n e r s , time on academic t a s k s i s s i m i l a r f o r b o t h groups. I t i s argued t h a t time on academic t a s k s l i k e l y has g r e a t e r m a r g i n a l u t i l i t y f o r slower l e a r n e r s . I t i s suggested t h a t s i m i l a r i t y between f a s t e r and s l o w e r s t u d e n t s , i n o n - t a s k r a t e s f o r academic t a s k s , may f u n c t i o n t o m a i n t a i n an e q u i l i b r i u m . 25 In c h a p t e r e i g h t , the t y p e s of a c t i v i t i e s and assignments g i v e n t o s t u d e n t s a r e i n v e s t i g a t e d . The t h e s i s i s advanced t h a t c l a s s r o o m a c t i v i t i e s and assignments appear t o f u n c t i o n t o engage the c o o p e r a t i o n of the m a j o r i t y of s t u d e n t s , and c o n s e q u e n t l y a r e c r i t i c a l t o the maintenance of e q u i l i b r i u m . In the f i n a l c h a p t e r i t i s proposed t h a t the t e a c h e r ' s p r i m a r y s t r a t e g y i s t o keep the c l a s s t o g e t h e r . T h i s appears t o be a c c o m p l i s h e d by time management w i t h a mastery r a t h e r than a coverage o r i e n t a t i o n . A mastery o r i e n t a t i o n i s seen as l i k e l y t o reduce the management and i n s t r u c t i o n a l problems i n h e r e n t i n i n c r e a s e d coverage v a r i a n c e . I t i s argued t h a t k eeping the c l a s s t o g e t h e r n e c e s s a r i l y i m p l i e s the i g n o r i n g or l e v e l i n g of i n d i v i d u a l time needs amongst s t u d e n t s . F u r t h e r , how t h i s may c o n t r i b u t e t o a l e v e l i n g or d e c r e a s e i n v a r i a n c e of s t u d e n t achievement i s d i s c u s s e d . 26 CHAPTER 2 The P r o c e s s of I n v e s t i g a t i o n The purpose of t h i s c h a p t e r i s t o i d e n t i f y and d e s c r i b e the methods and pr o c e d u r e s which were adopted f o r t h i s p a r t i c u l a r i n v e s t i g a t i o n . F i r s t , a d i s t i n c t i o n between two b a s i c modes of i n q u i r y , the e x p e r i m e n t a l and the n a t u r a l i s t i c , i s made. C r i t e r i a f o r the s e l e c t i o n of a mode of i n q u i r y a r e suggested and reasons f o r the c h o i c e of the n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigm a r e g i v e n . T h i s i s f o l l o w e d by a s e c t i o n i n which the d e s i g n of the study w i t h i n the n a t u r a l i s t i c r e s e a r c h framework i s e l a b o r a t e d . F i n a l l y , the problems of r e a c t i v i t y and b i a s , f r e q u e n t l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h n a t u r a l i s t i c s t u d i e s , a r e ad d r e s s e d . Two Paradigms A d i s t i n c t i o n may be made between two t y p e s of r e s e a r c h i n e d u c a t i o n , e x p e r i m e n t a l and n a t u r a l i s t i c . E x p e r i m e n t a l s t u d i e s a r e concerned w i t h the m a n i p u l a t i o n and c o n t r o l of v a r i a b l e s : The e x p e r i m e n t a l method i s the one where s c i e n t i s t s change c o n d i t i o n s i n o r d e r t o observe the consequences of those changes (Shulman, 1981, p. 9 ) . The aim i s the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of nomothetic l a w s . On the o t h e r hand, n a t u r a l i s t i c s t u d i e s have as a b a s i c purpose, the o b s e r v a t i o n and d e s c r i p t i o n of r e l a t i o n s h i p s between v a r i a b l e s as they o c c u r s p o n t a n e o u s l y . S c i e n t i s t s i n t h i s mode: 27 see n a t u r e p r e s e n t i n g i t s e l f f o r i n s p e c t i o n and the r o l e of the s c i e n t i s t t h a t of i d e n t i f y i n g which of the v a r i a t i o n s t h a t n a t u r e p r e s e n t s a r e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the o t h e r p r o c e s s e s or outcomes (Shulman, 1981, p. 9 ) . The aim i s t o d e s c r i b e f u n c t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . T r a d i t i o n a l l y , the two modes of s c i e n t i f i c i n q u i r y have been s e p a r a t e d and have pursued independent c o u r s e s of development (Cronbach, 1957). R i s t (1977) c h a r a c t e r i z e d the two t y p e s of r e s e a r c h as two paradigms f u n d a m e n t a l l y a t v a r i a n c e w i t h one a n o t h e r . Paradigms are used i n the Kuhnian sense (1962) of " b e l i e f s , v a l u e s , t e c h n i q u e s , and so on shared by the members of a g i v e n community" (p. 175). As such a paradigm i s more than a methodology but " p r e d i s p o s e s one t o view the w o r l d , and the e v e n t s w i t h i n i t , i n p r o f o u n d l y d i f f e r e n t ways" ( R i s t , 1977, p. 4 3 ) . Paradigms are seen as h a v i n g the power t o i n f l u e n c e how r e a l i t y i s p e r c e i v e d and t o d i c t a t e how i t w i l l be s t r u c t u r e d . The g e n e r a l e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l v i e w p o i n t s i n h e r e n t i n an e x p e r i m e n t a l or a n a t u r a l i s t i c approach t o phenomena a r e r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t . P o s s i b l y a major d i s t i n c t i o n i s the way i n which the n a t u r e of r e a l i t y i s viewed. The e x p e r i m e n t a l i s t , a l s o known as the t r a d i t i o n a l e m p i r i c i s t ( Bruyn, 1966), h o l d s as an a r t i c l e of f a i t h t h a t r e a l i t y i s o b j e c t i v e and can be a p p r o p r i a t e l y a n a l y z e d and measured. P h i l o s o p h i c a l l y , t h i s approach i s u l t i m a t e l y r e d u c t i o n i s t i c and d e t e r m i n i s t i c . The view of r e a l i t y h e l d by the n a t u r a l i s t i c i n v e s t i g a t o r i n c l u d e s the b e l i e f t h a t the knower 28 cannot be d i v o r c e d from the known. R e a l i t y i s i n h e r e n t l y s u b j e c t i v e and i s apprehended through a p r o c e s s of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . These two views of r e a l i t y g i v e r i s e t o d i f f e r e n t c o n c e p t i o n s of problems and s o l u t i o n s , t o d i f f e r e n t p r o c e d u r e s by which r e a l i t y i s i n v e s t i g a t e d , and t o d i f f e r e n t c l a i m s t o knowledge. M e t a p h y s i c a l assumptions about the n a t u r e of r e a l i t y produce r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t modes of i n q u i r y . Shulman (1981) argued: I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t d i f f e r e n c e s i n method ar e not merely a l t e r n a t i v e ways of r e a c h i n g the same end or answering the same q u e s t i o n s (p. 6 ) . He showed how methods are d i s t i n g u i s h e d by the "very t y p e s of q u e s t i o n s t h a t they t e n d t o r a i s e " (p. 6 ) . Q u e s t i o n s w i t h i n the t r a d i t i o n a l e m p i r i c i s t mode are s t a t e d i n the form of l o g i c a l l y deduced hypotheses c a p a b l e i n p r i n c i p l e of r e f u t a t i o n by e m p i r i c a l means. A p p r o p r i a t e canons of m e t h o d o l o g i c a l r i g o r i n v o l v e the r e d u c t i o n of phenomena t o v a r i a b l e s which can be p r e c i s e l y and r e l i a b l y q u a n t i f i e d . In c o n t r a s t q u e s t i o n s r a i s e d w i t h i n the n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigm are s t a t e d i n the form of i n d u c t i v e g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s . A p p r o p r i a t e canons of m e t h o d o l o g i c a l r i g o r i n v o l v e the p l a u s i b i l i t y of the d e s c r i p t i o n s i n the l i g h t of our u n d e r s t a n d i n g of human b e h a v i o r , and the i n t e r n a l c o n s i s t e n c y of the arguments. I t seems c l e a r t h a t paradigms a r e more than m e t h o d o l o g i c a l p r o c e d u r e s and i n v o l v e "an i n t e r r e l a t e d s e t of a s s umptions about the s o c i a l w o r l d which a r e p h i l o s o p h i c a l , i d e o l o g i c a l and e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l " ( R i s t , 1977, p. 4 3 ) . 29 Paradigms p r e d i s p o s e a d h e r e n t s t o view the w o r l d t h r o u g h d i f f e r e n t i n t e l l e c t u a l s p e c t a c l e s . The a d o p t i o n of a paradigm e n t a i l s p a r t i c u l a r assumptions about the n a t u r e of r e a l i t y and about what c o n s t i t u t e s a p p r o p r i a t e problems and s o l u t i o n s . A d d i t i o n a l l y , the two paradigms s p e c i f y d i f f e r e n t r e s e a r c h p r o c e d u r e s . The e x p e r i m e n t a l paradigm i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a t t e m p t s t o q u a n t i f y o b s e r v a t i o n s i n a p r e c i s e and r e l i a b l e way. Adherents of the n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigm seek t o e x p r e s s f u n c t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s e i t h e r n u m e r i c a l l y , v i a c o r r e l a t i o n a l a n a l y s i s , or by a d o p t i n g what has come t o be known as a q u a l i t a t i v e methodology. Q u a l i t a t i v e methodology r e f e r s t o those r e s e a r c h s t r a t e g i e s , such as p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n , i n -depth i n t e r v i e w i n g , t o t a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the a c t i v i t y b e i n g i n v e s t i g a t e d , f i e l d work e t c . , which a l l o w the r e s e a r c h e r t o o b t a i n f i r s t - h a n d knowledge about the e m p i r i c a l s o c i a l w o r l d i n q u e s t i o n . Q u a l i t a t i v e methodology a l l o w s the r e s e a r c h e r t o "get c l o s e t o the d a t a " t h e r e b y d e v e l o p i n g the a n a l y t i c a l , c o n c e p t u a l and c a t e g o r i c a l components of e x p l a n a t i o n from the d a t a i t s e l f - r a t h e r than from the p r e c o n c e i v e d , r i g i d l y s t r u c t u r e d , and h i g h l y q u a n t i f i e d t e c h n i q u e s t h a t p i g e o n h o l e the e m p i r i c a l s o c i a l w o r l d i n t o the o p e r a t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n s t h a t the r e s e a r c h e r has c o n s t r u c t e d ( F i l s t e a d , 1970, p. 6 ) . The two approaches are o f t e n p o r t r a y e d as a n t a g o n i s t i c ( R i s t , 1977) i n s t e a d of e q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t and v a l i d approaches t o u n d e r s t a n d i n g r e a l i t y ( F i l s t e a d , 1970). An A r i s t o t e l i a n p e r s p e c t i v e d i c t a t e s t h a t i n the f a c e of no s i n g l e method of i n q u i r y , i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o d e t e r m i n e the p r o c e s s of i n v e s t i g a t i o n which i s a p p r o p r i a t e t o the t o p i c . The domain of the p r e s e n t i n q u i r y , c l a s s r o o m s , and the p a r t i c u l a r f o c u s , t e a c h e r c o p i n g s t r a t e g i e s , i n d i c a t e d the 30 s e l e c t i o n of the n a t u r a l i s t i c as opposed t o the e x p e r i m e n t a l paradigm. D u r i n g the l a t e n i n e t e e n f i f t i e s and the e a r l y n i n e t e e n s i x t i e s , r e s e a r c h on t e a c h i n g was c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a growing sense of d e s p a i r t h a t t r a d i t i o n a l methods were i n c a p a b l e of a d v a n c i n g knowledge i n t h a t f i e l d ( B e l l a c k and Huebner, 1960). The growing sense of u n e a s i n e s s i n r e s e a r c h on t e a c h i n g may be seen as a r e f l e c t i o n of a g e n e r a l m a l a i s e s u r r o u n d i n g e x p e r i m e n t a l methodology. D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h e x p e r i m e n t a l methodology c o n t i n u e d i n t o the s e v e n t i e s ( C a m p b e l l , 1974; Cronbach, 1975; G l a s s , 1972; Snow, 1974; S t a k e , 1978). Cronbach (1975) argued t h a t the s e a r c h f o r nomothetic t h e o r y was perhaps m i s g u i d e d : the presence of h i g h e r - o r d e r i n t e r a c t i o n s l i m i t s the g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of the r e s u l t s of s t u d i e s . I n s t e a d he suggested t h a t "open-eyed, i n t e n s i v e , l o c a l o b s e r v a t i o n s " (p. 5) w i l l e n a b le the g e n e r a t i o n of e x p l a n a t o r y c o n c e p t s which w i l l a l l o w s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s t o p r e s e n t a contemporary view of man i n s o c i e t y . In -short, Cronbach was s u g g e s t i n g t h a t an i n t e g r a l p a r t of r e s e a r c h must be the c o l l e c t i o n of q u a l i t a t i v e i n f o r m a t i o n a l o n g w i t h the more u s u a l q u a n t i t a t i v e d a t a . Q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h i n t o c l a s s r o o m p r o c e s s e s has a c o n s i d e r a b l e t r a d i t i o n . S t e v e n s ' (1912) o b s e r v a t i o n a l a n a l y s i s of c l a s s r o o m q u e s t i o n i n g s t i m u l a t e d a s e r i e s of d e s c r i p t i v e s t u d i e s t h r o u g h the 1920's and 1930's (Hoetker and A h l b r a n d , 1969). T h i s t r e n d t o q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h was e v e n t u a l l y s u r p l a n t e d by more q u a n t i t a t i v e i n v e s t i g a t i o n s i n t o 31 t e a c h e r e f f e c t i v e n e s s (Dunkin and B i d d l e , 1974). D u r i n g the l a t e n i n e t e e n s i x t i e s , t h e r e was a resu r g e n c e of a q u a l i t a t i v e approach t o i n q u i r y i n t o e d u c a t i o n a l phenomena ( J a c k s o n , 1968; Smith and G e o f f r e y , 1968). T h i s t r e n d t o q u a l i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s c o n t i n u e d i n t o the n i n e t e e n s e v e n t i e s ( B o s s e r t , 1979; L o r t i e , 1975) , and has been l a b e l l e d e t h n o g r a p h i c or n a t u r a l i s t i c r e s e a r c h . A major c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h i s r e s e a r c h i s the a d o p t i o n of m e t h o d o l o g i e s from the f i e l d s of a n t h r o p o l o g y and s o c i o l o g y ( L u t z and Ramsay, 1974; O v e r h a l t and S t a l l i n g s , 1976) . Emphasis i s p l a c e d upon d i r e c t o b s e r v a t i o n , and the c o n t r i b u t i o n s of p a r t i c i p a n t s v i a i n t e r v i e w . R e search on t e a c h i n g has been c h a r a c t e r i z e d as i n i t s i n f a n c y (Brophy, 1979; Dunkin and B i d d l e , 1974). I t has been suggested t h a t o b s e r v a t i o n and d e s c r i p t i o n of phenomena a r e p r e r e q u i s i t e s t o the development of hypotheses which may be t e s t e d s t a t i s t i c a l l y ( K a p l a n , 1964). I n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g c l a s s r o o m p r o c e s s e s i s l i m i t e d . T h e r e f o r e , i t i s proposed t o i n v e s t i g a t e the s t r a t e g i e s d e v e l o p e d t o accommodate v a r i a t i o n i n performance or wo r k i n g r a t e s w i t h i n the n a t u r a l i s t i c framework. I s s u e s of Design i n N a t u r a l i s t i c S t u d i e s W i t h i n the e x p e r i m e n t a l paradigm t o t a l k of the " d e s i g n " of the study u s u a l l y r e f e r s t o the e l a b o r a t e p l a n n i n g t h a t t a k e s p l a c e p r i o r t o the conduct of an e x p e r i m e n t . U s u a l l y " d e s i g n " r e f e r s t o the s e l e c t i o n or g e n e r a t i o n of d a t a g a t h e r i n g i n s t r u m e n t s t o sec u r e i n f o r m a t i o n r e l e v a n t t o the 32 hypotheses under c o n s i d e r a t i o n , as w e l l as t o the means by which the d a t a w i l l be g a t h e r e d and s u b s e q u e n t l y a n a l y z e d . The emphasis w i t h i n the e x p e r i m e n t a l paradigm on the t e s t i n g of h y p o t h e s e s , p e r m i t s the d e s i g n of the study t o be s p e c i f i e d a p r i o r i . In c o n t r a s t t o the e x p e r i m e n t a l approach, w i t h i n the n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigm, d e s i g n i s used i n a l e s s r e s t r i c t i v e way t o connote "those elements of o r d e r , system and c o n s i s t e n c y " ( B e c k e r , Geer, Hughes and S t r a u s s , 1961, p. 17) e x h i b i t e d by a s t u d y . The emphasis w i t h i n the n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigm on the d e s c r i p t i o n of phenomena, and on the development of hypotheses from a d a t a base, p r e c l u d e s the complete s p e c i f i c a t i o n of the d e s i g n p r i o r t o the f i e l d w o r k . Research w i t h i n the h y p o t h e t i c o - d e d u c t i v e model s e t s out t o t e s t s p e c i f i c p r e d i c t i o n s from e x t a n t t h e o r e t i c a l p r o p o s i t i o n s . The g e n e s i s of such r e s e a r c h i s t y p i c a l l y a review of the r e l e v a n t l i t e r a t u r e . R e search w i t h i n the n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigm s e t s out t o e x p l o r e n a t u r a l l y o c c u r i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and t o g e n e r a t e t h e o r e t i c a l p r o p o s i t i o n s from the data c o l l e c t e d . The g e n e s i s of such r e s e a r c h may be a p r a c t i c a l problem such as the con c e r n over the q u a l i t y and performance of those who a p p l y and a r e a d m i t t e d t o c o l l e g e s and the p r o f e s s i o n a l s c h o o l s (Becker e t a l . , 1961); the l a c k of i n v e s t i g a t i o n of an a r e a as e x e m p l i f i e d by B o s s e r t ' s (1979) study of the i n f l u e n c e of the s t r u c t u r e of a c t i v i t i e s on the b e h a v i o r of s t u d e n t s and t e a c h e r s ; or a c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t such as e x p e r i e n c e d by J a c k s o n (1968) when he obser v e d the amount of w a i t i n g i n e l e m e n t a r y c l a s s r o o m s . The g e n e s i s of the 33 c u r r e n t study was the o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t c h i l d r e n d i f f e r e d i n the amount of time they needed t o complete a s s i g n m e n t s . R e f l e c t i o n on the p r a c t i c a l problems o c c a s i o n e d f o r the t e a c h e r by the e x i s t e n c e of f a s t and slow workers w i t h i n c l a s s r o o m s l e d t o s p e c u l a t i o n s about how the time needs of s t u d e n t s might be r e l a t e d t o the d i s t r i b u t i o n of time f o r l e a r n i n g w i t h i n c l a s s r o o m s . The i n a b i l i t y t o s p e c i f y the complete d e s i g n of a study conducted w i t h i n the n a t u r a l i s t i c framework p r i o r t o the s t a r t of f i e l d w o r k s h o u l d not imply t h a t such i n v e s t i g a t i o n s p r o ceed i n an ad hoc f a s h i o n . S h a v e l s o n (1981) s t a t e d t h a t : f i e l d w o r k methods ( e . g . , p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n , f o c u s e d i n t e r v i e w i n g ) and a n a l y t i c t e c h n i q u e s ( e . g . , development of c o n c e p t u a l and c a t e g o r i c a l systems from the d a t a themselves) have been d e v e l o p e d by q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h e r s and have t h e i r canons of m e t h o d o l o g i c a l r i g o r j u s t as q u a n t i t a t i v e methods do (p. 459). N e i t h e r does i t imply t h a t the r e s e a r c h e r w i t h i n the n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigm approaches the i n v e s t i g a t i o n w i t h a " t a b u l a r a s a " . G l a s e r and S t r a u s s (1967) suggested t h a t the r e s e a r c h e r may b e g i n w i t h : a p a r t i a l framework of " l o c a l " c o n c e p t s , d e s i g n a t i n g a few p r i n c i p l e s or g r o s s f e a t u r e s of the s t r u c t u r e and p r o c e s s e s i n the s i t u a t i o n s t h a t he w i l l study (p. 4 5 ) . C i c o u r e l (1964) p o i n t e d out the dynamic n a t u r e of n a t u r a l i s t i c s t u d i e s : 34 Rather than e n t e r i n g the r e s e a r c h s e t t i n g w i t h an e x p l i c i t t h e o r e t i c a l scheme and d e s i g n , the f i e l d r e s e a r c h e r f r e q u e n t l y d e v e l o p s h i s " t h e o r y " d u r i n g the s t u d y or a f t e r the d a t a have been c o l l e c t e d and w h i l e w r i t i n g up the f i n d i n g s (p. 7 1 ) . T h i s form of r e s e a r c h has been d e s c r i b e d a s : i n t e n t i o n a l l y u n s t r u c t u r e d i n i t s r e s e a r c h d e s i g n so as t o maximize d i s c o v e r y and d e s c r i p t i o n r a t h e r than s y s t e m a t i c t h e o r y t e s t i n g ( M c C a l l and Simmons, 1969, p r e f a c e ) . Becker e t a l . , (1961) suggested t h a t the r e s e a r c h e r has an o r i g i n a l view of the problem (which may not be the view a t the end of the r e s e a r c h ) as w e l l as t h e o r e t i c a l and m e t h o d o l o g i c a l commitments. They suggested t h a t t h e s e form the framework of the study and as such s h o u l d be e l a b o r a t e d as a s p e c t s of the " d e s i g n " . The o r i g i n a l view of the problem was t h a t time i n s c h o o l was a l i m i t e d r e s o u r c e but t h a t c h i l d r e n d i f f e r e d i n the amount of time they r e q u i r e d f o r l e a r n i n g . I t was a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t t h i s f a c t of c l a s s r o o m l i f e would e l i c i t v a r y i n g r e s p o n s e s from t e a c h e r s and t h a t t h e s e responses might best be i n t e r p r e t e d as c o p i n g s t r a t e g i e s . The purpose of the r e s e a r c h was t o i d e n t i f y and d e s c r i b e p o s s i b l e c o p i n g s t r a t e g i e s . D u r i n g the c o u r s e of the study the i d e a of e q u i l i b r i u m as an e x p l a n a t i o n of c o p i n g s t r a t e g i e s was d e v e l o p e d . The c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of the t e a c h e r as r a t i o n a l l y a t t e m p t i n g t o o p t i m i z e s t u d e n t l e a r n i n g was r e j e c t e d as inadequate t o e x p l a i n the d a t a c o l l e c t e d . R ather the i d e a of the t e a c h e r as a u t i l i t a r i a n p r a g m a t i s t was adopted as a more adequate e x p l a n a t i o n of c l a s s r o o m p r o c e s s e s . The emphasis on time r e l a t e d i s s u e s suggested the b a s i c 35 t h e o r e t i c a l framework. The i d e a of time as a r e s o u r c e has a l o n g t r a d i t i o n i n e d u c a t i o n (see c h a p t e r s i x f o r an h i s t o r i c a l r e v i e w ) , but i t i s o n l y r e c e n t l y t h a t the r a m i f i c a t i o n s of such a view have been s y s t e m a t i c a l l y examined u s i n g models from economics. The use of an analogy from economics i s amply su p p o r t e d by the e x t e n t t o which p a s t and p r e s e n t r e s e a r c h l i t e r a t u r e on time i n s c h o o l s employs, i m p l i c i t l y or e x p l i c i t l y , economic models. A d d i t i o n a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n of the t h e o r e t i c a l framework was c o n s i d e r e d t o be p r o v i d e d by the p r a c t i c a l advantage of c o n s i d e r i n g time as a r e s o u r c e ( d i s c u s s e d i n c h a p t e r one). T h e o r e t i c a l commitments a r e not always detached from m e t h o d o l o g i c a l commitments. W i t n e s s as e v i d e n c e the tendency of r e s e a r c h e r s u s i n g an economic model t o adopt r e g r e s s i o n p r o c e d u r e s (Shulman and E p s t e i n , 1975). In the c u r r e n t i n v e s t i g a t i o n the a d o p t i o n of a m e t h o d o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n l e d t o the u t i l i z a t i o n of a p a r t i c u l a r t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e . An i n i t i a l p r e d i s p o s i t i o n was t o t r e a t the c l a s s r o o m as a s o c i a l o rganism. The a d o p t i o n of a s o c i a l - p s y c h o l o g i c a l approach e n t a i l e d a b e l i e f t h a t a l l b e h a v i o r s e r v e s some f u n c t i o n . T h i s " s t r u c t u r a l - f u n c t i o n a l " approach l e d t o the development of the i d e a t h a t the m a n i f e s t f u n c t i o n of t e a c h i n g was enhancement of l e a r n i n g , but t h a t the l a t e n t f u n c t i o n was s t u d e n t c o o p e r a t i o n t o enhance t e a c h e r u t i l i t i e s . The d e c i s i o n t o t r e a t time as a r e s o u r c e , and t o adopt a s o c i a l - p s y c h o l o g i c a l approach t o c l a s s r o o m e v e n t s , p r o v i d e d an i n i t i a l framework f o r the s t u d y , d e l i n e a t e d a r e a s of 36 p o s s i b l y f r u i t f u l i n v e s t i g a t i o n , and suggested a p o o l of co n c e p t s and p r i n c i p l e s which might be used. Areas s e l e c t e d f o r s t udy were s e l e c t e d because the l i t e r a t u r e i n d i c a t e d t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e ( t i m e - o n - t a s k and p a c e ) , because of some p u z z l i n g f e a t u r e which was thought might be r e l a t e d t o the problem ( d i s c r e p a n c i e s among c l a s s r o o m s i n a l l o c a t e d t i m e ) , or because they seemed l o g i c a l l y r e l a t e d i n some way ( a c t i v i t i e s and o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n ) . I t i s im p o r t a n t t o s t r e s s t h a t i n t he i n i t i a l s t a g e s the g e n e r a l t h e o r e t i c a l a s sumptions and m e t h o d o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n g u i d e d , but d i d not d i c t a t e , the o b j e c t s of s t u d y . In o t h e r words, w h i l e i t was a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t t h e r e might be some i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the a r e a s s e l e c t e d f o r s t u d y , the p r e c i s e n a t u r e was not h y p o t h e s i z e d p r i o r t o the f i e l d w o r k . The view of the c l a s s r o o m as a s o c i a l system a l s o suggested a p a r t i c u l a r s t y l e of a n a l y s i s . A l t h o u g h f a c e t s of c l a s s r o o m l i f e were s e p a r a t e d a n a l y t i c a l l y f o r s t u d y , the view of the c l a s s r o o m as a s o c i a l system i n d i c a t e s an i n t e r e s t i n d i s c o v e r i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s between many k i n d s of phenomena and eve n t s c o n s i d e r e d s i m u l t a n e o u s l y . The a n a l y s i s was aimed a t i n t e r p r e t i n g c l a s s r o o m e v e n t s w i t h the e x p r e s s purpose of d e v e l o p i n g t e n t a t i v e g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s which c o u l d s e r v e as e x p l a n a t o r y frameworks. A c c o r d i n g l y , the a n a l y s i s c o n c e n t r a t e d on a b s t r a c t i n g r e c u r r i n g elements or p a t t e r n s from the c o n c r e t e d e t a i l s of e v e n t s . The attempt t o ge n e r a t e e x p l a n a t o r y frameworks from a dat a base l e d t o the a d o p t i o n of p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n as 37 the major method of i n v e s t i g a t i o n . P a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n has been d e s c r i b e d a s : not a s i n g l e method but r a t h e r a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t y l e of r e s e a r c h which makes use of a number of methods and t e c h n i q u e s — o b s e r v a t i o n , i n f o r m a n t i n t e r v i e w i n g , document a n a l y s i s , respondent i n t e r v i e w i n g and p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i t h s e l f - a n a l y s i s ( M c C a l l and Simmons, 1969. P r e f a c e ) . P a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n i n v o l v e s the r e s e a r c h e r p a r t i c i p a t i n g : i n the d a i l y l i f e of the p e o p l e under study e i t h e r o p e n l y , i n the r o l e of r e s e a r c h e r , or c o v e r t l y , i n some d i s g u i s e d r o l e , o b s e r v i n g t h i n g s t h a t happen, l i s t e n i n g t o what i s s a i d and q u e s t i o n i n g p e o p l e over some l e n g t h of time (Becker et a l . , 1961, p. 23) . In t h i s s t u d y the i n v e s t i g a t o r p a r t i c i p a t e d o p e n l y as a r e s e a r c h e r . Because of the n a t u r e of the o r g a n i z a t i o n under i n v e s t i g a t i o n , c l a s s r o o m s f o r young c h i l d r e n , the r e s e a r c h e r was p a s s i v e d u r i n g c l a s s r o o m o b s e r v a t i o n but assumed a more a c t i v e r o l e , i n t e r a c t i n g w i t h t e a c h e r s o n l y d u r i n g non c l a s s t i m e s ( r e c e s s , noon hour, b e f o r e and a f t e r s c h o o l ) . The D e s ign of the Study A d e c i s i o n was made t o study a s m a l l number of c l a s s r o o m s . T h i s d e c i s i o n t o c o n c e n t r a t e energy on a s m a l l number of c l a s s r o o m s was governed by both c o n c e p t u a l and p r a g m a t i c c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . Brophy (1979) c a l l e d f o r a moratorium on l a r g e s t u d i e s i n v o l v i n g r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e o b s e r v a t i o n i n numerous c l a s s r o o m s . I n s t e a d , he s u g g e s t e d t h a t i t might be more p r o f i t a b l e t o spend a g r e a t e r amount of time o b s e r v i n g i n fewer c l a s s r o o m s . F i v e c l a s s r o o m s were c o n s i d e r e d so t h a t each might be v i s i t e d on a weekly b a s i s . 38 T h i s e n a b l e d a s i n g l e i n v e s t i g a t o r t o spend a c o n s i d e r a b l e p o r t i o n of the day v i s i t i n g the s c h o o l s , but s t i l l p r o v i d e d some time a t the end of each o b s e r v a t i o n p e r i o d t o r e f l e c t on the notes t a k e n , and t o b e g i n the p r o c e s s of a n a l y s i s and s y n t h e s i s . The f i v e grade t h r e e c l a s s r o o m s were v i s i t e d once a week d u r i n g a t h r e e month p e r i o d i n the f a l l of 1980. The s c h o o l s were s i t u a t e d i n the lower m a i n l a n d of B r i t i s h Columbia i n a p r e d o m i n a n t l y urban a r e a . The s e l e c t i o n of s c h o o l s was made by s c h o o l d i s t r i c t p e r s o n n e l u s i n g g u i d e l i n e s suggested by the a u t h o r . The study was p l a n n e d as f i v e case s t u d i e s . Homogeneity amongst the c a s e s was sought t o c o n t r o l e x t r a n e o u s f a c t o r s and t h e r e b y reduce the p o s s i b i l i t y of c o n f o u n d i n g . A c c o r d i n g l y , the c o o p e r a t i o n of f i v e female t e a c h e r s who had a minimum of f i v e y e a r s of e x p e r i e n c e was sought. Females were chosen because t r a d i t i o n a l l y the p r i m a r y grades have been dominated by women. Teachers who had had a minimum of f i v e y e a r s e x p e r i e n c e were sought so t h a t b a s i c c l a s s r o o m management s k i l l s would be w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d . Because of the d u r a t i o n of the st u d y , o n l y t e a c h e r s who i n d i c a t e d a d e s i r e t o c o o p e r a t e were sought. S c h o o l d i s t r i c t p e r s o n n e l s e l e c t e d the s c h o o l s f o r t h e i r demonstrated w i l l i n g n e s s t o c o o p e r a t e w i t h u n i v e r s i t y r e s e a r c h e r s . P r i n c i p a l s had t o g i v e t h e i r c onsent b e f o r e the t e a c h e r s c o u l d be approached. A l l of the p r i n c i p a l s e x p r e s s e d i n t e r e s t i n the p r o j e c t , but l e f t the d e c i s i o n t o p a r t i c i p a t e t o the i n d i v i d u a l t e a c h e r s . The grade t h r e e t e a c h e r s i n the 39 chosen s c h o o l s gave t h e i r consent t o b e i n g i n v o l v e d . Random sampling of t e a c h e r s was not f e a s i b l e f o r the p r e s e n t s t u d y . In the e x p e r i m e n t a l t r a d i t i o n random sa m p l i n g i s c o n s i d e r e d d e s i r a b l e i n o r d e r t o g e n e r a l i z e r e s u l t s . The f a i l u r e of e d u c a t i o n a l s t u d i e s t o meet the assumption of random s a m p l i n g n e c e s s a r y f o r s t a t i s t i c a l i n f e r e n c e has been d i s c u s s e d e x t e n s i v e l y ( B r a c h t and G l a s s , 1968; C o r n f i e l d and Tukey, 1956; Cronbach, 1975). Snow (1974) s u g g e s t e d t h a t the key t o g e n e r a l i z a t i o n i s t o d e s c r i b e the sample p o p u l a t i o n i n d e t a i l . A c c o r d i n g l y , the f i v e s c h o o l s , c h i l d r e n , t e a c h e r s and c l a s s r o o m s a r e d e s c r i b e d i n d e t a i l i n Appendix 1. Data C o l l e c t i o n W i t h i n the n a t u r a l i s t i c framework: Data c o l l e c t i o n i s not a d i s t i n c t phase i n the r e s e a r c h p r o c e s s but r a t h e r i s one a n a l y t i c a l l y d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e a s p e c t of a m u l t i p l e x p r o c e s s . D e s i g n , a n a l y s i s and w r i t e - u p s are a l s o b e i n g c a r r i e d out s i m u l t a n e o u l s l y w i t h d a t a c o l l e c t i o n and a l l f o u r a s p e c t s c o n t i n u a l l y i n f l u e n c e and impinge upon one another ( M c C a l l and Simmons, 1969, p. 61). A c c o r d i n g l y , i t s h o u l d be borne i n mind t h a t the subheadings used f o r t h i s s e c t i o n , and f o r the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n , a r e used f o r a n a l y t i c p urposes, and a r e not i n t e n d e d t o convey the i m p r e s s i o n t h a t d i s t i n c t phases were f o l l o w e d d u r i n g the e x e c u t i o n of the s t u d y . The d a t a c o l l e c t e d f e l l n a t u r a l l y i n t o two c a t e g o r i e s , s t r u c t u r e d and u n s t r u c t u r e d . Some of the d a t a c o l l e c t e d d u r i n g the study were s t r u c t u r e d , i n the sense t h a t the i n v e s t i g a t o r knew what da t a t o c o l l e c t , and how t o c o l l e c t i t , p r i o r t o c o l l e c t i o n . Such s t r u c t u r e d data ( o n - t a s k r a t e s and 40 s t u d e n t performance on an a r i t h m e t i c t a s k ) were c o l l e c t e d i n accordance w i t h t r a d i t i o n a l s t a n d a r d s f o r q u a n t i t a t i v e d a t a . ( I n o r d e r t o m a i n t a i n c o n t i n u i t y and coherence p r e c i s e d e t a i l s of the c o l l e c t i o n and a n a l y s i s of q u a n t i t a t i v e d a t a w i l l be g i v e n i n c o n t e x t ) . Other d a t a were u n s t r u c t u r e d , i n the sense t h a t the i n v e s t i g a t o r d i d not know p r i o r t o c o l l e c t i o n , t he p r e c i s e n a t u r e or form of the da t a nor how they were r e l a t e d s p e c i f i c a l l y t o the problem under i n v e s t i g a t i o n . U n s t r u c t u r e d d a t a were c o l l e c t e d by means of n a r r a t i v e specimen r e c o r d s of the o b s e r v a t i o n of c l a s s r o o m e v e n t s and i n f o r m a l t a l k s w i t h t e a c h e r s . The use of the term " u n s t r u c t u r e d " s h o u l d not be c o n s t r u e d as i m p l y i n g the d a t a so c o l l e c t e d a r e l a c k i n g i n m e t h o d o l o g i c a l r i g o r . As p o i n t e d out by S h a v e l s o n and S t e r n (1981), Shulman (1981), and W i l s o n (1977), q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h i s much l i k e q u a n t i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h , i n t h a t i t has a l o n g t r a d i t i o n w i t h i n which i n v e s t i g a t o r s a r e wo r k i n g c o n t i n u a l l y t o r e f i n e and d e v e l o p e f f e c t i v e and a p p r o p r i a t e r e s e a r c h methods. N a r r a t i v e specimen r e c o r d s . The n a r r a t i v e specimen r e c o r d ( B a r k e r and W r i g h t , 1955; Gump, 1969; W r i g h t , Gump, N a i l , and Schoggen, 1955) i s a n a t u r a l i s t i c d e s c r i p t i o n of a stream of ev e n t s (see Appendix 2 f o r an example). As Becker et a l . , (1961) have commented, i t i s n e i t h e r p o s s i b l e nor p a r t i c u l a r l y u s e f u l t o r e c o r d e v e r y e v e n t . T h e r e f o r e , i t i s impo r t a n t t o s i g n i f y what was i n c l u d e d and what was o m i t t e d i n the d e s c r i p t i o n s . In the p r e s e n t study a r e c o r d of the s a l i e n t f e a t u r e s of c l a s s r o o m l i f e which might be a s s o c i a t e d 41 w i t h time use was r e q u i r e d . C o n s e q u e n t l y , the b e g i n n i n g s and ends of l e s s o n s , the s u b j e c t matter s t u d i e d , the assignments g i v e n t o s t u d e n t s , and whether i n s t r u c t i o n was t o the c l a s s or a group, were r e c o r d e d . A d d i t i o n a l l y , t e a c h e r comments t o s t u d e n t s about work, how l o n g they had, and d i r e c t i o n s about what t o do when f i n i s h e d , were noted. Other a s p e c t s of c l a s s r o o m l i f e were n e g l e c t e d , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r a c t i o n s among s t u d e n t s , because they were not c o n s i d e r e d of s i g n i f i c a n c e t o the problem s t u d i e d . I n f o r m a l i n t e r v i e w s . I n f o r m a l i n t e r v i e w i n g of the t e a c h e r s took p l a c e on an on-going b a s i s . In one sense, the use of the word " i n t e r v i e w " may be a misnomer, f o r the i n t e r a c t i o n s were i n the form of c o n v e r s a t i o n s . I n f o r m a t i o n an a v a r i e t y of t o p i c s was g a t h e r e d d u r i n g the c o u r s e of c o n v e r s i n g w i t h the t e a c h e r s a t r e c e s s e s and l u n c h h o u r s . A l t h o u g h u n s t r u c t u r e d , and f o l l o w i n g the c o n v e n t i o n s of d i a l o g u e , the c o n v e r s a t i o n s were not haphazard. T y p i c a l l y , the i n v e s t i g a t o r took advantage of a c l a s s r o o m event t o open a c o n v e r s a t i o n on a t o p i c of r e s e a r c h i n t e r e s t . The t o p i c s c o v e r e d d u r i n g a p a r t i c u l a r c o n v e r s a t i o n were d i c t a t e d by the c i r c u m s t a n c e s of the moment and the i n t e r e s t s of the i n v e s t i g a t o r . The f l e x i b i l t y of the c o n v e r s a t i o n a l mode p e r m i t t e d f o l l o w - u p of the spontaneous remarks of the t e a c h e r s . R e p l i e s t o q u e r i e s o f t e n prompted a d d i t i o n a l q u e s t i o n s . Q u e s t i o n s which e l i c i t e d f r u i t f u l r e s ponses from one t e a c h e r were s u b s e q u e n t l y i n c o r p o r a t e d i n c o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h the o t h e r t e a c h e r s . 42 D u r i n g the c o u r s e of the r e s e a r c h a l i s t of the q u e s t i o n s r e l a t i n g t o the problem was g e n e r a t e d (see Appendix 3 ) . Not a l l of these q u e s t i o n s were asked of a l l of the t e a c h e r s as some q u e s t i o n s o b v i o u s l y d i d not a p p l y i n some of the c l a s s r o o m s , or the answer was apparent from o b s e r v a t i o n . N e i t h e r were a l l asked i n the same manner, or i n the same sequence. The advantages of the c o n v e r s a t i o n a l mode, s p o n t a n e i t y and n a t u r a l n e s s , were judged t o outweigh the d i s a d v a n t a g e of l a c k of s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n i n the q u e s t i o n - a s k i n g p r o c e d u r e s . To m a i n t a i n the c o n v e r s a t i o n a l mode no notes were taken d u r i n g the d i a l o g u e . A review of the main t o p i c s was r e c o r d e d as soon as was c o n v e n i e n t a t the end of each c o n v e r s a t i o n . The major d i s a d v a n t a g e of t h i s approach i s , of c o u r s e , the r e l i a n c e on memory. However, the l a c k of i n h i b i t i o n , t y p i c a l of spontaneous comments d u r i n g c o n v e r s a t i o n , was deemed t o be adequate compensation f o r the l a c k of p r e c i s i o n . Data r e d u c t i o n The method of p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n g e n e r a t e s a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount of d a t a . C o n s e q u e n t l y , a major p r a c t i c a l problem becomes one of d a t a r e d u c t i o n . D u r i n g the c o u r s e of t h i s s t u d y , and f o l l o w i n g Smith and G e o f f r e y (1968), the f i e l d n otes were read a t the end of each day and a w r i t t e n r e c o r d of i m p r e s s i o n s and i d e a s was made (see Appendix. 4 ) . T h i s r e c o r d c o n s t i t u t e d a summary of the o b s e r v a t i o n s made t h a t day and a l s o c o n t a i n e d t e n t a t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . T h i s phase of the r e s e a r c h p r o c e s s might be c h a r a c t e r i z e d as r e f l e c t i o n on the 43 o b s e r v a t i o n s of the day w i t h a view t o making sense out of them. R e f l e c t i o n was c a r r i e d out i n a d e l i b e r a t e way, u s i n g the method of c o n s t a n t comparison ( G l a s e r and S t r a u s s , 1967). I n c i d e n t s and e v e n t s of the day were compared i n a s e a r c h f o r s i m i l a r i t i e s . E v e nts which were s i m i l a r were c o n s i d e r e d t o be l o n g t o a p a r t i c u l a r c a t e g o r y . S u b s e q u e n t l y , o t h e r i n c i d e n t s and e v e n t s , which were c o n s i d e r e d c a n d i d a t e s f o r membership i n the c a t e g o r y , were compared w i t h e v e n t s a l r e a d y i n the c a t e g o r y . As the r e s e a r c h p r o g r e s s e d , c o m m o n a l i t i e s w i t h i n c l a s s e s and a c r o s s c l a s s e s began t o emerge; t h e s e p a t t e r n s were i d e n t i f i e d and l a b e l e d . At the end of the f i e l d w o r k , t h e s e summaries of the d a i l y o b s e r v a t i o n s p r o v i d e d the major c o n c e p t s and themes which were used t o d e v e l o p the i d e a of e q u i l i b r i u m as the b a s i c c o p i n g s t r a t e g y . A major d i f f i c u l t y w i t h q u a l i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s of t h i s s o r t i s t h a t i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o r e c o r d the amount of d a t a n e c e s s a r y t o j u s t i f y c o n c l u s i o n s i n a b r i e f , c o n v e n i e n t way. T y p i c a l l y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i l l u s t r a t i o n s of c o n c e p t s or p r i n c i p l e s a r e r e p o r t e d ( G l a s e r and S t r a u s s , 1967). The Problem of B i a s There appears t o be g e n e r a l agreement t h a t o b s e r v a t i o n poses problems c o n c e r n i n g the r e l i a b i l i t y and the v a l i d i t y of the d a t a c o l l e c t e d (Becker e t a l . , 1961; Bruyn, 1966; C i c o u r e l , 1964; K e r l i n g e r , 1964; Schwartz and Schwartz,1969; V i d i t c h , 1966; Z e l d i t c h , 1969). M c C a l l (1969) suggested t h a t the p r i n c i p a l c o n c e r n s r e g a r d i n g o b s e r v a t i o n a l d a t a were: 1) 44 the r e a c t i v e e f f e c t s of the presence or the b e h a v i o r of the o b s e r v e r on the phenomenon under i n v e s t i g a t i o n ; 2) the d i s t o r t i n g e f f e c t s of s e l e c t i v e p e r c e p t i o n and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n on the p a r t of the o b s e r v e r and; 3) the l i m i t a t i o n s on the o b s e r v e r ' s a b i l i t y t o w i t n e s s a l l r e l e v a n t a s p e c t s of the phenomena i n q u e s t i o n . In M c C a l l ' s paper (1969) the c o n c e r n r e g a r d i n g l i m i t a t i o n s on the a b i l i t y of the o b s e r v e r t o w i t n e s s a l l r e l e v e n t a s p e c t s stemmed from the o b s e r v e r ' s p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n and what a c c e s s t o i n f o r m a t i o n t h i s might have d e n i e d him. O r g a n i z a t i o n a l c o n s t r a i n t s on i n f o r m a t i o n were not a f e a t u r e of the p r e s e n t s t u d y . In t h i s s t u d y , the l i m i t a t i o n s were o c c a s i o n e d by the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of a c c u r a t e l y w i t n e s s i n g a l l c l a s s r o o m e v e n t s because some of them o c c u r e d s i m u l t a n e o u s l y . F u n d a m e n t a l l y a problem of p e r c e p t i o n , t h i s i s d i s c u s s e d under the concern f o r d i s t o r t i n g e f f e c t s . R e a c t i v e e f f e c t s a r e d i s c u s s e d f i r s t , f o l l o w e d by a d i s c u s s i o n of the d i s t o r t i n g e f f e c t s of s e l e c t i v e p e r c e p t i o n and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . R e a c t i v i t y and O b s e r v a t i o n a l Measures There seems t o be g e n e r a l agreement t h a t o b s e r v e r s do a f f e c t b e h a v i o r ( B a r k e r and W r i g h t , 1955; Campbell and S t a n l e y , 1963; Cook and R e i c h a r d t , 1979; Webb, Campbell, Schwartz, and S e c h r e s t , 1956). However, Weick (1968) argued t h a t the r e a l i s s u e s a r e how e x t e n s i v e the impact i s , which s e t t i n g s and p r o c e s s e s a r e most v u l n e r a b l e t o i t s e f f e c t s , and whether i n t e r f e r e n c e can be d e t e c t e d . He suggested t h a t o b s e r v e r e f f e c t s may be l o c a l i z e d and t h a t they s h o u l d be 45 documented. An extreme p o s i t i o n t h a t even l o s s of i n i t i a l awareness i s no guarantee of uncontaminated b e h a v i o r , has been taken by s e v e r a l r e s e a r c h e r s (Orne, 1962; R o s e n t h a l , 1964; S h e r i f and S h e r i f , 1964). R e s e a r c h e r s who t a k e a more moderate p o s i t i o n argue t h a t a p e r i o d of a d a p t a t i o n or h a b i t u a t i o n t o the o b s e r v a t i o n p r o c e d u r e i s n e c e s s a r y t o d e a l w i t h the problem of r e a c t i v i t y ( P u r c e l l and Brady, 1966; S o s k i n and John, 1963). P u r c e l l and Brady (1966) and S o s k i n and John (1963) suggested t h a t s u b j e c t s r e a d i l y become accustomed t o i n v a s i o n of t h e i r p r i v a c y . S o s k i n and John (1963) s t u d i e d the v e r b a l i n t e r a c t i o n of two s e t s of m a r r i e d c o u p l e s v i a r a d i o t r a n s m i t t e r s which were worn d a i l y f o r a p e r i o d of two weeks. The s u b j e c t s r e p o r t e d d i m i n i s h e d awareness of the a p p a r a t u s d u r i n g p e r i o d s of i n t e n s e i n v o l v e m e n t . P u r c e l l and Brady (1966) s i m i l a r l y s t u d i e d the b e h a v i o r of a d o l e s c e n t s who wore " l i v e " and "dummy" t r a n s m i t t e r s f o r one hour each e v e n i n g . The p e r c e n t a g e of remarks r e g a r d i n g the stu d y dropped c o n s i d e r a b l y a f t e r t he f i r s t two s e s s i o n s . Independent o b s e r v e r s who were f a m i l i a r t o the a d o l e s c e n t s , but who were n a i v e as t o which a d o l e s c e n t s wore the l i v e or the dummy t r a n s m i t t e r s , f a i l e d t o r e p o r t s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between b e h a v i o r under the two c o n d i t i o n s . I t seems r e a s o n a b l e t o suggest t h a t the use of t r a n s m i t t e r s i s p o t e n t i a l l y as t h r e a t e n i n g as a l i v e o b s e r v e r ; r e c o r d i n g s of the most i n t i m a t e v e r b a l i n t e r a c t i o n s can be made and w i t h g r e a t e r f i d e l i t y than by a l i v e o b s e r v e r . Yet even i n th e s e s t u d i e s 46 b e h a v i o r , e i t h e r r a t e d o b j e c t i v e l y or s u b j e c t i v e l y , d i d not appear t o be i n f l u e n c e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y . Doyle (1979) argued t h a t t e a c h e r b e h a v i o r i n the c l a s s r o o m i s a f u n c t i o n a l response t o t h a t p a r t i c u l a r environment. I f t h i s i s so, then changes i n an h a b i t u a l p a t t e r n of b e h a v i o r a r e l i k e l y brought about o n l y by a major d i s r u p t i v e e v e n t . I t seems u n l i k e l y t h a t knowledge of b e i n g observed c o u l d have enough impact t o c o n s t i t u t e a f o r c e d i s r u p t i v e enough t o r a d i c a l l y a l t e r b e h a v i o r . C l a s s r o o m performances of both t e a c h e r s and s t u d e n t s a r e p u b l i c e v e n t s . Teachers and s t u d e n t s , by reason of t h e i r exposure t o each o t h e r , have e x p e c t a t i o n s of what b e h a v i o r s w i l l o c c u r . C o n s e q u e n t l y , one would expect t h a t pronounced r e a c t i v i t y e f f e c t s would l e a d t o a m o d i f i c a t i o n of the u s u a l i n t e r a c t i o n s between t e a c h e r s and s t u d e n t s . I t was a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t b e h a v i o r which d e v i a t e d from the u s u a l would be the cause of e x p r e s s i o n of c o n c e r n by e i t h e r p a r t y . For example, a c l a s s which i s u s u a l l y q u i e t but suddenly becomes n o i s y , w i l l l i k e l y draw f o r t h t e a c h e r r e m o n s t r a t i o n s . S i m i l a r l y , u n u s u a l t e a c h e r d i r e c t i o n s a r e l i k e l y t o be met by s t u d e n t puzzlement, e v i d e n c e d by i n c r e a s e d q u e s t i o n a s k i n g . The r e s e a r c h r e v i e w e d s u g g e s t e d t h a t r e a c t i v e e f f e c t s d i m i n i s h over t i m e . D u r i n g the f i r s t o b s e r v a t i o n i n each room the c h i l d r e n were t o l d t h a t the " v i s i t o r " was i n t e r e s t e d i n l e a r n i n g about grade t h r e e c l a s s e s . At the r e c e s s break one or two c h i l d r e n e x p r e s s e d i n t e r e s t i n the "numbers" the o b s e r v e r was r e c o r d i n g on the c o d i n g s h e e t . D u r i n g subsequent 47 v i s i t s c h i l d r e n r a r e l y approached the o b s e r v e r and o n l y once d u r i n g c l a s s time d i d a t e a c h e r r e f e r p u b l i c a l l y t o the f a c t t h a t the c l a s s was b e i n g o b s e r v e d . At the b e g i n n i n g of the s t u d y , a l l of the t e a c h e r s thought t h a t an o b s e r v e r i n the room would not d i s r u p t the c l a s s as the c h i l d r e n were used t o v i s i t o r s b e i n g i n the room. Towards the end of the s t u d y , one t e a c h e r s p o n t a n e o u s l y commented on the way her c l a s s had i g n o r e d the o b s e r v e r : I t ' s as i f you're p a r t of the woodwork. Even B. (the c h i l d i n the desk d i r e c t l y i n f r o n t of the o b s e r v e r ) hasn't been s q u i r m i n g around t o b o t h e r you. C o n s e q u e n t l y , i t i s c o n c l u d e d t h a t r e a c t i v e e f f e c t s were p r o b a b l y m i n i m a l . S e l e c t i v e P e r c e p t i o n and I n t e r p r e t a t i o n A second p r i n c i p l e c oncern e x p r e s s e d about o b s e r v a t i o n a l s t u d i e s i s t h a t the o b s e r v a t i o n s may be d i s t o r t e d by the s e l e c t i v e p e r c e p t i o n s and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the o b s e r v e r . I m p l i c i t i n the concept of d i s t o r t i o n i s the assumption t h a t " o b j e c t i v e " r e a l i t y e x i s t s and can be a s s e s s e d i n d e p e n d e n t l y of an o b s e r v e r . The n o t i o n i s t h a t p e r c e p t i o n must be s t r i p p e d of a l l c o n c e p t u a l c o n t a m i n a t i o n i n o r d e r f o r the o b s e r v a t i o n t o r e f l e c t " r e a l i t y " . Only under th e s e c i r c u m s t a n c e s are d a t a c o n s i d e r e d t o be " o b j e c t i v e " and hence " s c i e n t i f i c " . An e q u a l l y t e n a b l e p o s i t i o n i s t h a t s c i e n c e i s a s o c i a l l y embedded a c t i v i t y c a r r i e d out by human b e i n g s who a r e 48 h e i r s t o some i n t e l l e c t u a l p r e f e r e n c e s and v i e w p o i n t s . W i t h i n t h i s f o r m u l a t i o n a l l o b s e r v a t i o n s , whether q u a n t i t a t i v e or q u a l i t a t i v e , a r e the product of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n because they have been f i l t e r e d t h r ough the mind of the o b s e r v e r . A c c o r d i n g t o Claude Bernard (1865), quoted by B l a c k (1954): pure o b s e r v a t i o n i s a myth. What s h a l l count as a f a c t i n any w e l l - d e v e l o p e d s c i e n c e i s a l r e a d y l a r g e l y d e t e r m i n e d by t h e o r y embodied i n the d i s p o s i t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c i n s t r u m e n t s , the s e l e c t i o n of "competent" s c i e n t i s t s , and the p o s t u r e of " c o r r e c t " o b s e r v a t i o n (p. 19). P h i l o s o p h e r s of s c i e n c e have argued t h a t s c i e n c e i s not, and cannot be, v a l u e f r e e ( B l a c k , .1954; K a p l a n , 1964; Kuhn, 1962; S c r i v e n , 1972; Tou l m i n , 1961). T y p i c a l l y , o b s e r v a t i o n s which l e n d t h e m s e l v e s t o q u a n t i f i c a t i o n have enjoyed g r e a t e r r e s p e c t a b i l i t y as " o b j e c t i v e " and have been c o n s i d e r e d t o be f r e e of d i s t o r t i n g e f f e c t s . Gould (1981) demonstrated t h a t q u a n t i f i c a t i o n of o b s e r v a t i o n i s open t o i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . In h i s r e a n a l y s i s of what were c o n s i d e r e d t o be impeccable d a t a s e t s , he showed how a p r i o r i a s s umptions i n f l u e n c e d , a t an un c o n s c i o u s l e v e l , the da t a c o l l e c t e d by s c i e n t i s t s who were c o n s i d e r e d t o be amongst the most eminent and o b j e c t i v e of t h e i r t i m e . Gould (1981) demonstrated t h a t q u a n t i f i c a t i o n of o b s e r v a t i o n s i s no guarantee of o b j e c t i v i t y . H i s r e a n a l y s i s i s a cogent d e m o n s t r a t i o n of an i n t e r e s t i n g d i s t i n c t i o n between o b j e c t i v i t y and s u b j e c t i v i t y made by S c r i v e n (1972). S c r i v e n argued t h a t o b j e c t i v i t y and s u b j e c t i v i t y a r e h e l d t o be c o n t r a s t i n g but t h a t they a r e w i d e l y used t o r e f e r t o two 49 d i f f e r e n t c o n t r a s t s : In the f i r s t of t h e s e c o n t r a s t s " s u b j e c t i v i t y " r e f e r s t o what c o n c e r n s or o c c u r s t o the i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t and h i s e x p e r i e n c e s , q u a l i t i e s and d i s p o s i t i o n s w h i l e " o b j e c t i v e " r e f e r s t o what a number of s u b j e c t s or judges e x p e r i e n c e — i n s h o r t , t o phenomena i n the p u b l i c domain (p. 9 5 ) . He suggested t h a t as the d i f f e r e n c e i s i n the number of p e o p l e t o whom r e f e r e n c e i s made t h i s c o n t r a s t i s q u a n t i t a t i v e . S c r i v e n c o n t i n u e d : In the second of the two uses, t h e r e i s r e f e r e n c e t o the q u a l i t y of the t e s t i m o n y or the r e p o r t or the ( p u t a t i v e ) e v i d e n c e , and so I c a l l t h i s the " q u a l i t a t i v e " sense. Here " s u b j e c t i v e " means u n r e l i a b l e , b i a s e d or p r o b a b l y b i a s e d , a m a t t e r of o p i n i o n , and " o b j e c t i v e " means r e l i a b l e , f a c t u a l , c o n f i r m a b l e or c o n f i r m e d and so f o r t h (p. 9 5 ) . He m a i n t a i n e d t h a t a fundamental c o n f u s i o n i n s o c i a l s c i e n c e r e s e a r c h i s t o f u s e the two meanings such t h a t r e p o r t s by a number of p e o p l e become o b j e c t i v e , and r e p o r t s by one p e r s o n , s u b j e c t i v e . S c r i v e n argued t h a t r e p o r t s by one person need not be n e c e s s a r i l y s u b j e c t i v e i n the q u a l i t a t i v e sense. He s uggested t h a t the a c i d t e s t i s the t e s t of the c r e d i b l e w i t n e s s : I f we can t e s t someone's c l a i m s on a v e r y l a r g e number of o c c a s i o n s and f i n d them e x t r e m e l y r e l i a b l e , we have good reason t o b e l i e v e him on o t h e r o c c a s i o n s when he t e s t i f i e s about e v e n t s of a k i n d t h a t we know t o e x i s t even though we cannot check them d i r e c t l y o u r s e l v e s (p. 96) T y p i c a l l y , r e p o r t s of r e s e a r c h i n c l u d e a r e v i e w of the p e r t i n e n t l i t e r a t u r e , as w e l l as a p r e s e n t a t i o n of d a t a , r e s u l t s , and c o n c l u s i o n s . In the c a s e of s t u d i e s c o n ducted by a p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v e r , where the c r e d i b i l i t y of the f i e l d w o r k cannot be a s s e s s e d d i r e c t l y , S c r i v e n ' s argument would s u g g e s t s 50 t h a t c r e d i b i l i t y may be e s t i m a t e d based upon c l a i m s made about the l i t e r a t u r e which i s a c c e s s i b l e t o a l l . In a d d i t i o n d a t a r e p o r t e d by a p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v e r , which a r e c o r r o b o r a t e d by o t h e r r e s e a r c h e r s i n the a r e a , have a h i g h e r p r o b a b i l i t y of b e i n g f r e e from d i s t o r t i n g e f f e c t s . F i n a l l y , i n d i s c u s s i n g the adequacy of n a t u r a l i s t i c r e s e a r c h , i t seems a p p r o p r i a t e t o p o i n t out t h a t the end p r o d u c t of any s c i e n t i f i c i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s not a c c e p t a n c e or r e j e c t i o n of p r o p o s i t i o n s , but the degree of c o n f i d e n c e t h a t one can p l a c e i n the p r o p o s i t i o n s (Rozeboom, i 9 6 0 ) . U l t i m a t e l y c o n f i d e n c e i n a s e t of p r o p o s i t i o n s i s a p r o d u c t of judgement. M c C a l l (1969) a d v i s e d t h a t judgement of a n a t u r a l i s t i c study s h o u l d i n c l u d e an e v a l u a t i o n of whether the account i s p l a u s i b l e i n commonsense terms. Bruyn (1966), Cronbach and Suppes (1969) and Shulman (1981) a d v i s e d t h a t c o n f i d e n c e i n a r e p o r t s h o u l d be based on an e v a l u a t i o n of the coherence and i n t e r n a l c o n s i s t e n c y of the arguments p r e s e n t e d . G e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y S c i e n c e i s more con c e r n e d w i t h the u n i v e r s a l than the p a r t i c u l a r . T h i s p r e f e r e n c e r e v e a l s i t s e l f i n the concept of g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y . The q u e s t i o n asked i s t o what degree the f i n d i n g s from one c o n t e x t may be assumed t o a p p l y i n o t h e r s e t t i n g s or under o t h e r c o n d i t i o n s . A t t e n t i o n i s t y p i c a l l y a d d r e s s e d t o g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y from the p a r t i c u l a r sample of s u b j e c t s t o some l a r g e r u n i v e r s e of s u b j e c t s of which they a r e s a i d t o be r e p r e s e n t a t i v e . In t h i s p a r t i c u l a r s t u d y , one might ask how f a r the c o n c l u s i o n s drawn from the f i v e 51 c l a s s r o o m s i n v e s t i g a t e d a p p l y t o o t h e r c l a s s r o o m s . Because of the s m a l l number of c l a s s e s i n v o l v e d , and the l a c k of random s a m p l i n g , no unwarranted c l a i m s t o g e n e r a l i z a b i l t y a r e made; but n e i t h e r a r e the r e s u l t s i n t e n d e d t o r e f l e c t the i d i o s y n c r a s i e s of i n d i v i d u a l t e a c h e r s . W i l l i a m B l a k e wrote of "worlds i n a g r a i n of sand". In so much t h a t the w o r l d of one c l a s s r o o m s h a r e s a s i m i l a r i t y w i t h the w o r l d of o t h e r c l a s s r o o m s , i t might r e a s o n a b l y be a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t the s t u d y of a few c l a s s r o o m s might shed l i g h t on some p r o c e s s e s which are common t o a l l . How common ar e the p r o c e s s e s t h a t were r e v e a l e d i n the p r e s e n t i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s a judgement t h a t may be made by the r e a d e r . In o r d e r t o f a c i l i t a t e t h i s judgement, the c l a s s r o o m s are d e s c r i b e d i n d e t a i l i n Appendix 1. A l t h o u g h the u n i v e r s a l i t y of s p e c i f i c c o n c l u s i o n s i s an i m p o r t a n t q u e s t i o n , perhaps a more i m p o r t a n t i s s u e i s the q u e s t i o n of the g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of the c o n c e p t s and p r i n c i p l e s g e n e r a t e d d u r i n g the c o u r s e of a n a t u r a l i s t i c i n v e s t i g a t i o n . Kaplan (1964) argued t h a t the most b a s i c of a l l g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s a r e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s , by which he means "the making of e n d u r i n g or r e c u r r e n t c o n s t i t u e n t s i n the f l o w of e x p e r i e n c e " (p. 8 5 ) . T y p i c a l l y , t h e s e g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s become the c o n c e p t s used t o d e s c r i b e r e a l i t y . G l a s e r and S t r a u s s (1967) suggested t h a t n a t u r a l i s t i c r e s e a r c h i n v o l v e s the g e n e r a t i o n of c o n c e p t u a l c a t e g o r i e s from d a t a . Once ge n e r a t e d the c o n c e p t u a l c a t e g o r i e s have a l i f e of t h e i r own. F u r t h e r , they m a i n t a i n e d t h a t the a c c u r a c y of the e v i d e n c e used t o g e n e r a t e the concept i s not f u n d a m e n t a l l y p r o b l e m a t i c , 52 because "the concept i t s e l f w i l l not change, w h i l e even the most a c c u r a t e f a c t s change" (p. 2 3 ) . T h e r e f o r e , one might argue t h a t the most a p p r o p r i a t e q u e s t i o n t o be a d d r e s s e d by n a t u r a l i s t i c s t u d i e s i s the g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of the c o n c e p t s and p r i n c i p l e s g e n e r a t e d . T h i s c h a p t e r was concerned w i t h the d e s c r i p t i o n of the methods and p r o c e d u r e s adopted d u r i n g the p r e s e n t s t u d y . Because the i n v e s t i g a t i o n was conducted w i t h i n the framework of the n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigm, an e f f o r t was made t o emphasize the dynamic n a t u r e of the d e s i g n of the s t u d y : h y p o t h e s i s g e n e r a t i o n as opposed t o h y p o t h e s i s t e s t i n g r e s u l t s i n a p r o c e s s of i n v e s t i g a t i o n r a t h e r than a r e s e a r c h d e s i g n s p e c i f i e d a p r i o r i . The o b s e r v a t i o n a l n a t u r e of the r e s e a r c h r e q u i r e d t h a t two major a s p e c t s of the problem of b i a s , r e a c t i v i t y and d i s t o r t i n g e f f e c t s , be a d d r e s s e d . F i n a l l y , the q u e s t i o n of the g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of the r e s u l t s of n a t u r a l i s t i c r e s e a r c h was d i s c u s s e d . 53 CHAPTER 3 O r g a n i z a t i o n f o r I n s t r u c t i o n : L e v e l i n g and Sh a r p e n i n g A fundamental d i f f i c u l t y f a c e d by many o r g a n i z a t i o n s i s the n e c e s s i t y of d e a l i n g w i t h the d i v e r s e needs of c l i e n t s . O f t e n o r g a n i z a t i o n s respond t o d i v e r s i t y by c r e a t i n g subgroups (Rosenbaum, 1980). The magnitude of the e d u c a t i o n a l e n t e r p r i s e d i c t a t e s t h a t l e a r n e r s must be o r g a n i z e d i n t o groups of a c o n v e n i e n t s i z e . W h i l e the n e c e s s i t y f o r some system f o r o r g a n i z i n g l a r g e numbers of l e a r n e r s i n t o groups i s apparent the means by which t h i s may best be a c c o m p l i s h e d has l o n g been the s u b j e c t of debate; Shane ( i 9 6 0 ) documents t h i r t y two methods f o r g r o u p i n g which have been t r i e d . The problem of s e l e c t i n g the most a p p r o p r i a t e method of o r g a n i z a t i o n has been c o m p l i c a t e d f u r t h e r by the e x i s t e n c e of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s amongst l e a r n e r s . Even a c u r s o r y g l a n c e a t the p r o f u s e l i t e r a t u r e on the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l r e s p o n s e s t o the problem of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s p r o v i d e s ample j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the d i c t u m : No scheme of s c h o o l o r g a n i z a t i o n however e l a b o r a t e l y worked o u t , p r o v i d e s f o r the ty p e s and ranges of l e a r n e r v a r i a b i l i t y encompassed by the s c h o o l (Goodlad, 1962, p. 210). Shane (1962) noted f o u r b a s i c t r e n d s i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l responses t o i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . He argued t h a t grade l e v e l s were i n t r o d u c e d i n the m i d - n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y t o reduce the i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s found i n the nongraded s c h o o l s . He p o i n t e d out t h a t i n an attempt t o make 54 the graded approach l e s s a r b i t r a r y " m u l t i p l e t r a c k " p l a n s were i n t r o d u c e d p e r m i t t i n g s t u d e n t s t o p r o g r e s s a t d i f f e r e n t r a t e s (see d i s c u s s i o n i n c h a p t e r one). He i d e n t i f i e d the movement towards homogeneous g r o u p i n g as an attempt t o o r g a n i z e p u p i l s by a b i l i t y . F i n a l l y , he noted the t r e n d towards ungraded g r o u p i n g i n the e a r l y e l e m e n t a r y y e a r s . I t i s perhaps not an u n f a i r comment t h a t the impetus t o change the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e of the s c h o o l s has r e c e i v e d i t s f o r c e from a b e l i e f not o n l y t h a t change was d e s i r a b l e on p h i l o s o p h i c a l or s o c i a l grounds, but a l s o t h a t an o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s o l u t i o n c o u l d be found t o the problem of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . T h i s view seems unduly o p t i m i s t i c i n the l i g h t of Shane's r e v i e w (1960) of the number of d i f f e r e n t methods of o r g a n i z a t i o n . I t seems r e a s o n a b l e t o q u e s t i o n i f a c o m p l e t e l y d e s i r a b l e s o l u t i o n e x i s t s . In c h a p t e r one, i t was argued t h a t t e a c h e r s f a c e a fundamental dilemma: they have t o ensure t h a t groups of l e a r n e r s who d i f f e r i n time needs co v e r a common c u r r i c u l u m i n a l i m i t e d amount of t i m e . I f t e a c h e r s o r g a n i z e c l a s s e s so t h a t the needs of i n d i v i d u a l s a r e met, i t seems l i k e l y t h a t t h e r e w i l l not be enough time t o cover the c u r r i c u l u m . C o n v e r s e l y , i f they o r g a n i z e f o r i n s t r u c t i o n t o ensure t h a t the c l a s s c o v e r s the c u r r i c u l u m , they l i k e l y run the r i s k of not a l l o w i n g enough time f o r i n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t s t o complete the work. The purpose of t h i s c h a p t e r i s t o e x p l o r e t o what e x t e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n i n the f i v e c l a s s r o o m s r e p r e s e n t s a r e s o l u t i o n of t h i s fundamental dilemma of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n time needs. , 55 The e x p l o r a t i o n b e g i n s w i t h an e x a m i n a t i o n of a major form of o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n , g r o u p i n g . C o n s e q u e n t l y , the c h a p t e r opens w i t h a r e view of the l i t e r a t u r e on t h i s t o p i c . T h i s i s f o l l o w e d by a d e s c r i p t i o n of how the f i v e c l a s s e s were o r g a n i z e d . On the b a s i s of these o b s e r v a t i o n s , i t i s argued t h a t the accommodation of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i s a p h i l o s o p h i c a l i d e a l which i s a t v a r i a n c e w i t h the c o l l e c t i v e n a t u r e of c l a s s r o o n l i f e : t e a c h e r s may be p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y i n c l i n e d t o i n d i v i d u a l i s m , but the r e a l i t y of t h e i r d a i l y work commits them t o d e a l w i t h l e a r n e r s en masse. T h i s a n a l y s i s prompts the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t the o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n may s e r v e a purpose o t h e r than m a x i m i z i n g the achievement of i n d i v i d u a l s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , the f i n a l p a r t of the c h a p t e r o f f e r s an a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the f u n c t i o n of o r g a n i z a t i o n i n c l a s s r o o m s . I t i s argued t h a t o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n f u n c t i o n s t o e f f e c t a compromise between the demands of s t u d e n t s w i t h d i f f e r i n g time needs and the n e c e s s i t y of c o v e r i n g a common c u r r i c u l u m i n a l i m i t e d amount of t i m e . S e l e c t i o n of C h i l d r e n f o r I n s t r u c t i o n I t i s a p p r o p r i a t e t o b e g i n w i t h a d i s c u s s i o n of how c h i l d r e n a r e s e l e c t e d f o r i n s t r u c t i o n . Both T h e l e n (1959) and Y a t e s (1966) have noted t h a t s e l e c t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n i s c o n t r o l l e d by s e v e r a l f a c t o r s : t h e s e might be l a b e l e d s o c i o l o g i c a l , a d m i n i s t r a t i v e and i n s t r u c t i o n a l . The i n i t i a l s e l e c t i o n of who w i l l be educated i s a f u n c t i o n of s o c i e t y . 56 T h e l e n (1959) noted t h a t i n i t i a l l y age, and l a t e r s o c i o -economic f a c t o r s , d e l i n e a t e the p o o l of l e a r n e r s . A second p o i n t of s e l e c t i o n , s t i l l s o c i o l o g i c a l i n n a t u r e , i s the s c h o o l s which the s t u d e n t s w i l l a t t e n d . The t h i r d l e v e l of s e l e c t i o n i n v o l v e s an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e d e c i s i o n about assignment of l e a r n e r s t o c l a s s e s w i t h i n the s c h o o l . And f i n a l l y , the f o u r t h l e v e l of s e l e c t i o n i n v o l v e s d e c i s i o n s r e g a r d i n g the w i t h i n c l a s s subgroups t o which s t u d e n t s w i l l b e l o n g f o r the purpose of i n s t r u c t i o n . I t i s t h i s f o u r t h l e v e l of s e l e c t i o n , i n t r a c l a s s g r o u p i n g , p o t e n t i a l l y under the c o n t r o l of the t e a c h e r , which i s the c o n c e r n of the p r e s e n t c h a p t e r . I n t r a c l a s s G r o u p i n g In r e v i e w i n g the l i t e r a t u r e on the o r g a n i z a t i o n of l e a r n e r s f o r i n s t r u c t i o n , i t r e a d i l y becomes apparent t h a t some of the p o i n t s of s e l e c t i o n have g e n e r a t e d c o n s i d e r a b l e d i s c u s s i o n , w h i l e the o t h e r s appear t o have commanded l i t t l e i n t e r e s t . The age. of e n t r y i n t o s c h o o l f l u c t u a t e s between d i f f e r e n t c o u n t r i e s but w i t h i n each s o c i e t y t h e r e appears t o be some consensus about what c o n s t i t u t e s the a p p r o p r i t e p o p u l a t i o n of l e a r n e r s . In the U n i t e d S t a t e s the i s s u e of d e s e g r e g a t i o n and b u s i n g have h i g h l i g h t e d a c o n t r o v e r s y over the second p o i n t of s e l e c t i o n . In both N o r t h America and Europe the t h i r d p o i n t of s e l e c t i o n , assignment t o c l a s s e s , has g e n e r a t e d a p r o l o n g e d and sometimes heated debate between the proponents of homogeneous and heterogeneous a b i l i t y g r o u p i n g . In c o n t r a s t t o d e c i s i o n s about which s c h o o l s and 57 c l a s s e s c h i l d r e n w i l l a t t e n d , w i t h i n c l a s s o r g a n i z a t i o n has been s u b j e c t e d t o l i t t l e s c r u t i n y . H e athers (1969) i n a r e v i e w a r t i c l e on g r o u p i n g comments: The mere h a n d f u l of s t u d i e s on i n t r a c l a s s p r o v i s i o n s f o r meeting d i f f e r e n c e s among l e a r n e r s c o n t r a s t s s h a r p l y w i t h the l a r g e volume of r e s e a r c h on i n t e r c l a s s g r o u p i n g (p. 567). The i n t e r s c h o o l and i n t e r c l a s s d e g r o u p i n g debates have emphasized the s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l impact of group membership on i n d i v i d u a l s : hence the l a c k of a t t e n t i o n t o w i t h i n c l a s s g r o u p i n g i s p a r t i c u l a r l y c u r i o u s . H e a ther's (1969) comment r e g a r d i n g the c o n t r a s t between the l a r g e volume of r e s e a r c h on i n t e r c l a s s g r o u p i n g and the d e a r t h of i n f o r m a t i o n on i n t r a c l a s s g r o u p i n g s h o u l d not l e a d one t o assume t h a t the e d u c a t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e i s s i l e n t on t h i s t o p i c . On the c o n t r a r y , a body of l i t e r a t u r e on i n t r a c l a s s g r o u p i n g does e x i s t , but i t i s h o r t a t o r y r a t h e r than e m p i r i c a l i n n a t u r e . The assumption t h a t g r o u p i n g i s a good t h i n g i s a p e r v a s i v e theme u n d e r l y i n g much of t h i s work, but t h e r e has been l i t t l e attempt t o document e i t h e r the p o s i t i v e or the n e g a t i v e e f f e c t s of t h i s p r a c t i c e . The p a u c i t y of a t t e m p t s t o v a l i d a t e t h i s commonly h e l d n o t i o n i s f u r t h e r s u r p r i s i n g i n view of the w i d e s p r e a d n a t u r e of g r o u p i n g . Heathers (1969) r e f e r s t o a N a t i o n a l E d u c a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n Report of 1962 i n which e l e m e n t a r y p r i n c i p a l s r e p o r t e d the e x i s t e n c e of subgroups i n f o u r f i f t h s of t h e i r c l a s s e s f o r r e a d i n g and two t h i r d s of t h e i r c l a s s e s i n a r i t h m e t i c . The u b i q u i t y of the p r a c t i c e would seem t o p r o v i d e adequate reason t o attempt t o s u b s t a n t i a t e the 58 p r e v a i l i n g myths about g r o u p i n g . Myths About G r o u p i n g The Webster's New C o l l e g i a t e D i c t i o n a r y (1979) d e f i n e s myth i n f o u r ways: 1: a usu. t r a d i t i o n a l s t o r y of o s t e n s i b l y h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t s t h a t s e r v e s t o u n f o l d p a r t of the w o r l d view of a p e o p l e or e x p l a i n a p r a c t i c e , b e l i e f or n a t u r a l phenomenon 2: p a r a b l e , a l l e g o r y 3 a : a person or t h i n g h a v i n g o n l y an i m a g i n a r y or u n v e r i f i a b l e e x i s t e n c e b: an i l l - f o u n d e d b e l i e f h e l d u n c r i t i c a l l y esp. by an i n t e r e s t e d group 4: the whole body of myths. Myth, i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h i n t r a c l a s s g r o u p i n g , i s used i n the sense of 3b and i s i n t e n d e d t o convey the n o t i o n t h a t much of the w r i t i n g on the s u b j e c t r e f l e c t s b e l i e f s which have not been s u b j e c t e d t o e m p i r i c a l s c r u t i n y . There appear t o be f o u r dominant myths s u r r o u n d i n g the n o t i o n of i n t r a c l a s s g r o u p i n g . Two of the myths r e l a t e t o the advantages a c c r u i n g t o l e a r n e r s ; the myth of p r o v i d i n g f o r d i f f e r e n c e s and the myth of i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n . The r e m a i n i n g myths c o n c e n t r a t e on the advantages f o r t e a c h e r s ; the myth of e a s i n g the problem of i n s t r u c t i o n and the myth of n a r r o w i n g the range. Myth One: P r o v i d i n g f o r D i f f e r e n c e s Hook (1960) a r t i c u l a t e d the reason f o r g r o u p i n g a t the c l a s s l e v e l : "we group i n o r d e r t o p r o v i d e f o r the v a s t d i f f e r e n c e s t h a t e x i s t amongst any a g g r e g a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l s " (p. 421). How g r o u p i n g p r o v i d e s f o r i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i s not c l e a r l y s p e c i f i e d . One would a n t i c i p a t e t h a t i n o r d e r t o 59 p r o v i d e f o r i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s t h e r e would be q u a l i t a t i v e d i f f e r e n c e s i n the k i n d s of i n s t r u c t i o n f o r each group. Rosenbaum (1980) noted t h a t the a b i l i t y g r o u p i n g l i t e r a t u r e commonly assumes t h a t t e a c h e r s d i f f e r e n t i a t e i n s t r u c t i o n , and commented on the l a c k of e x p l i c i t d i s c u s s i o n r e g a r d i n g the t e a c h i n g methods t h a t a r e most a p p r o p r i a t e f o r d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s . Myth Two: I n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n I m p l i c i t i n myth one i s the r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t d i f f e r e n c e s between i n d i v i d u a l s e x i s t and t h a t the t e a c h e r has an o b l i g a t i o n t o p r o v i d e f o r them: myth two s p e c i f i e s how t h i s may be a c c o m p l i s h e d . Anderson (1962) assumed t h a t t e a c h e r s have subgroups " f o r the purposes of f o s t e r i n g i n d i v i d u a l i z e d l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s " (p. 251). Anderson suggested t h a t the g e n e s i s of the d e s i r e f o r i n d i v i d u a l i z e d l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s i s the c u l t u r a l e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t each c h i l d w i l l r e c e i v e i n d i v i d u a l a t t e n t i o n . Presumably the d e s i r e f o r i n d i v i d u a l a t t e n t i o n r e s u l t s from a b e l i e f t h a t t h i s w i l l enhance l e a r n i n g . The q u e s t i o n n a t u r a l l y a r i s e s as t o how f a r g r o u p i n g l e a d s t o the enhancement of l e a r n i n g . Y a t e s (1966) summarized a l a r g e body of r e s e a r c h and suggested t h a t g r o u p i n g by a b i l i t y i n t o homogeneous and heterogeneous c l a s s e s does not enhance achievement. Yet i n a r e c e n t r e view Rosenbaum (1980) argued t h a t the r e s u l t s a r e c o n t r a d i c t o r y . He adopted an a c c o u n t i n g p r o c e d u r e t o show the c o n t r a d i c t o r y n a t u r e of the r e s u l t s of the f i f t y b est c o n t r o l l e d s t u d i e s p u b l i s h e d between 1960 and 1968. 60 The r e v i e w s by Y a t e s (1966) and Rosenbaum (1980) a r e l a r g e l y concerned w i t h i n t r a s c h o o l o r g a n i z a t i o n of c h i l d r e n i n t o c l a s s e s by a b i l i t y . W a l l e n and Vowles ( i 9 6 0 ) i n a s t u d y c o n t r a s t i n g g r o u p i n g and no g r o u p i n g w i t h i n the same c l a s s e s found no e f f e c t of g r o u p i n g on achievement. In s p i t e of the c o n t r a d i c t o r y e v i d e n c e on i n t e r c l a s s g r o u p i n g , and the l i m i t e d e v i d e n c e r e g a r d i n g the e f f e c t s of i n t r a c l a s s g r o u p i n g , the d i v i s i o n of c h i l d r e n i n t o subgroups appears t o be a dominant o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p a t t e r n . Y a t e s ' (1966) comment t h a t w i t h i n the e d u c a t i o n a l community t h e r e i s c o n s i d e r a b l e c o n s e r v a t i s m r e g a r d i n g changes i n o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p r a c t i c e seems j u s t i f i e d . Myth Three: E a s i n g the Problem of I n s t r u c t i o n Myth t h r e e p r o v i d e s a r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of g r o u p i n g which emphasizes the advantages t o the t e a c h e r . W i l h e l m s and Westby-Gibson (1960) suggested "Teachers have tended t o see g r o u p i n g as somewhat e a s i n g t h e i r problem of i n s t r u c t i o n " ; they add, r a t h e r c r y p t i c a l l y i n view of t h e i r l a c k of e l a b o r a t i o n , "-a p e r c e p t i o n not t o be taken l i g h t l y " (p. 411). The n o t i o n of g r o u p i n g as an i n s t r u c t i o n a l s t r a t e g y i s i m p l i c i t i n t h e i r w r i t i n g , but i s not dev e l o p e d . Q u e s t i o n s of when i t i s used, and w i t h what e f f e c t i v e n e s s , do not appear t o have been a d d r e s s e d . N e i t h e r do Wilhelms and Westby-Gibson s p e c i f y how g r o u p i n g "eases" the problem of i n s t r u c t i o n . Myth Four: Narrowing the Range In the l a r g e r debate c o n c e r n i n g the assignment of c h i l d r e n t o c l a s s e s , the argument used f o r homogeneous 61 g r o u p i n g was t h a t i t narrowed the range of a b i l i t y w i t h which t e a c h e r s had t o d e a l ( H e a t h e r s , 1969). W i l h e l m s and Westby-Gibson (1960) commented t h a t t e a c h e r s d e s i r e d the n a r r o w i n g of range presumably because the r e d u c t i o n of the range was seen as f a c i l i t a t i n g t e a c h i n g and l e a r n i n g . I f i n t e r c l a s s g r o u p i n g reduces the range then a l o g i c a l e x t e n s i o n of the argument would p r e d i c t even g r e a t e r homogeneity w i t h i n t r a c l a s s g r o u p i n g . The assumption of homogeneity has been q u e s t i o n e d ( C l a r k e , 1958; Eash, 1961; Goodlad and Anderson, 1959; T y l e r , 1965; W i l h e l m s and Westby-Gibson, 1960). G r o u p i n g c h i l d r e n appears not t o reduce the v a r i a b i l i t y a p p r e c i a b l y . P e t t y (1953) r e p o r t e d a wide range i n b o t h a b i l i t y and achievement i n i n t r a c l a s s groups. C l a r k e (1958) found t h a t r e g r o u p i n g c h i l d r e n on the b a s i s of IQ s c o r e s reduced v a r i a b i l i t y i n the C a l i f o r n i a Reading t e s t s c o r e s by 9% and i n a r i t h m e t i c and language by 2%. S t u d e n t s may become more s i m i l a r on the chosen f a c t o r but remain q u i t e heterogeneous on o t h e r f a c t o r s . Even when g r o u p i n g i s c a r r i e d out s p e c i f i c a l l y i n a s u b j e c t a r e a , the r e d u c t i o n i n v a r i a t i o n i s l i k e l y not t o be g r e a t . In the C l a r k e study (1958) g r o u p i n g by r e a d i n g s c o r e s reduced the v a r i a b i l i t y by 20%. Goodlad and Anderson (1959) commented: The more we d i v i d e g e n e r a l development i n t o s p e c i f i c t r a i t s , the e a s i e r i t i s t o group p u p i l s homogeneously on a s i n g l e t r a i t but the h a r d e r i t becomes t o group them homogeneously on a l l t r a i t s (p. 18). 62 They r e j e c t e d homogeneous g r o u p i n g as a " w i l l o'the w i s p " , and c o n c l u d e d t h a t i t d i d not a d e q u a t e l y a d d r e s s the problem of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n l e a r n i n g . G r o u p ing D e c i s i o n s In s p i t e of the f a c t t h a t the presumed advantages f o r both t e a c h e r s and p u p i l s have not been c o n s i s t e n t l y d emonstrated, t h e r e e x i s t s a s u b s t a n t i a l l i t e r a t u r e which e x h o r t s t e a c h e r s t o group; A l e x a n d e r (1979) and Smith and Johnson (1976) p r o v i d e t y p i c a l examples. Much p r e s c r i p t i v e a d v i c e on how t o group p r e v a i l s but l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n has been p a i d t o d e s c r i b i n g how t e a c h e r s make g r o u p i n g d e c i s i o n s . S e v e r a l w r i t e r s have suggested f a c t o r s which may i n f l u e n c e g r o u p i n g . Y a t e s (1966) suggested t h a t groups may be formed on the b a s i s of such c r i t e r i a as i n t e l l i g e n c e , a p t i t u d e , achievement, s p e c i a l needs, i n t e r e s t and m o t i v a t i o n . A l t e r n a t e l y , Anderson (1962) suggested t h a t g r o u p i n g d e c i s i o n s a r e governed by e s s e n t i a l l y p r a g m a t i c c o n s i d e r a t i o n s ; the n a t u r e and the amount of p h y s i c a l i n s t r u c t i o n a l r e s o u r c e s a v a i l a b l e . He appeared to i n t e r p r e t r e s o u r c e s i n m a t e r i a l terms, p o r t a b l e f u r n i t u r e , t e x t b o o k s , m a t e r i a l s and space w i t h i n the s c h o o l b u i l d i n g . On the o t h e r hand B a r r (1975) and He a t h e r s (1969) see p s y c h o l o g i c a l r a t h e r than p h y s i c a l f a c t o r s as paramount. Heathers suggested t h a t i n t r a c l a s s g r o u p i n g i s more l i k e l y t o oc c u r i n heterogeneous c l a s s e s than i n a b i l i t y grouped c l a s s e s s i n c e he b e l i e v e d t h a t t e a c h e r s employ g r o u p i n g t o a c c o m p l i s h w i t h i n c l a s s a b i l i t y or achievement l e v e l g r o u p i n g . B a r r 63 (1975) i s more s p e c i f i c . She r e p o r t e d t h a t grade one t e a c h e r s grouped when they found t h a t some p u p i l s d i f f e r e d s u f f i c i e n t l y from o t h e r s i n t h e i r a b i l i t y or a t t e n t i o n , so t h a t managing t o t a l - c l a s s i n s t r u c t i o n w i t h the same m a t e r i a l s became d i f f i c u l t . F u r t h e r , she suggested t h a t g r o u p i n g o c c u r e d i n response t o two ty p e s of l e a r n e r s who were p e r c e i v e d by the t e a c h e r s t o be a t y p i c a l ; c h i l d r e n who had d i f f i c u l t y a t t e n d i n g t o i n s t r u c t i o n , and e x t r e m e l y good l e a r n e r s who were eager t o move ahead and became r e s t l e s s i f they d i d n o t . A l t h o u g h the l i t e r a t u r e on i n t r a c l a s s g r o u p i n g i s meager i t c o n t a i n s some i n t e r e s t i n g s p e c u l a t i o n s . I t has been suggested t h a t t e a c h e r s group i n response t o p u p i l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , m a i n l y a b i l i t y and a t t e n t i o n , and t h a t the range of v a r i a b i l i t y w i t h i n a c l a s s w i l l i n f l u e n c e t e a c h e r g r o u p i n g d e c i s i o n s . A p a r t from Anderson's (1962) s u g g e s t i o n t h a t g r o u p i n g i s a l s o i n f l u e n c e d by the a v a i l a b i l i t y of r e s o u r c e s , the p o s s i b i l i t y of o t h e r c o n s t r a i n t s on g r o u p i n g appear not t o have been g e n e r a l l y c o n s i d e r e d . One p o s s i b l e c o n s t r a i n t t h a t s p r i n g s t o mind i s the p r a g m a t i c one of c l a s s r o o m mangagement. Grouping f o r i n s t r u c t i o n reduces the time the t e a c h e r spends w i t h the whole c l a s s and n e c e s s a r i l y i n c r e a s e s the time t h a t s t u d e n t s must work i n d e p e n d e n t l y . T h i s p a t t e r n of o r g a n i z a t i o n i n v o l v e s d e c i s i o n s about how time s h o u l d be a p p o r t i o n e d t o groups, and how c h i l d r e n w o r k i ng i n d e p e n d e n t l y a re t o be managed. How time elements and t e a c h e r management s k i l l s may i n f l u e n c e o r g a n i z a t i o n a l d e c i s i o n s appear not t o have been i n v e s t i g a t e d . 64 One i n t e r e s t i n g f a c e t of g r o u p i n g f o r i n s t r u c t i o n i s the e x t e n t t o which t h i s u b i q u i t o u s p r a c t i c e c o n t i n u e s i n the f a c e of e v i d e n c e which q u e s t i o n s i t e f f e c t i v e n e s s . T h i s tendency t o adhere t o o l d forms of o r g a n i z a t i o n has been d e s c r i b e d as c o n s e r v a t i v e ( Y a t e s , 1966); however, an a l t e r n a t i v e view i s t h a t the p r a c t i c e of i n t r a c l a s s g r o u p i n g may s e r v e some purpose. I t seems a p p r o p r i a t e a t t h i s p o i n t , t o r e i n t r o d u c e a d i s t i n c t i o n between the r e c o g n i z e d and i n t e n d e d consequences of b e h a v i o r and the u n r e c o g n i z e d and u n i n t e n d e d consequences. In the s o c i o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e the former a r e c a l l e d m a n i f e s t f u n c t i o n s and the l a t t e r l a t e n t f u n c t i o n s (Merton, 1967). I t has t y p i c a l l y been supposed t h a t t e a c h e r s group t o accommodate i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s w i t h a view t o m a x i m i z i n g s t u d e n t l e a r n i n g ; t h i s may be d e s c r i b e d as the m a n i f e s t f u n c t i o n of g r o u p i n g . T h e r e f o r e , an i n i t i a l q u e s t i o n i s t o what e x t e n t does g r o u p i n g f a c i l i t a t e the accommodation of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . W i t h i n the b o u n d a r i e s of t h i s study the q u e s t i o n i s r e p h r a s e d t o ask t o what e x t e n t does g r o u p i n g a l l e v i a t e s the problem of d i f f e r e n t i a l t i me needs? A d d i t i o n a l l y , i n the f a c e of e v i d e n c e which s u g g e s t s t h a t the m a n i f e s t f u n c t i o n of g r o u p i n g , the accommodation of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s , i s q u e s t i o n a b l e , i t seems r e a s o n a b l e t o i n v e s t i g a t e i f a l a t e n t f u n c t i o n e x i s t s . 65 W i t h i n C l a s s V a r i a t i o n i n A b i l i t y I t has been suggested t h a t w i t h i n c l a s s h e t e r o g e n e i t y may be a c a t a l y s t f o r g r o u p i n g ( B a r r , 1975; H e a t h e r s , 1969). A c c o r d i n g l y , i n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g the v a r i a b i l i t y i n the c l a s s e s s e l e c t e d f o r study i s p r e s e n t e d , p r i o r t o a d e s c r i p t i o n of how they were o r g a n i z e d f o r i n s t r u c t i o n . In k e e p i n g w i t h the n a t u r a l i s t i c emphasis of the s t u d y , i t was d e c i d e d t o c a p i t a l i z e on the i n f o r m a t i o n a l r e a d y a v a i l a b l e . A l l of the t e a c h e r s had a c c e s s t o achievement t e s t r e s u l t s : some of the r e s u l t s were from the p r e v i o u s y e a r , but f o u r of the t e a c h e r s a d m i n i s t e r e d t e s t s d u r i n g September as an a i d t o g r o u p i n g . . Teacher 4 and Teacher 5 gave the Gates M a c G i n i t i e r e a d i n g t e s t , P r i m a r y C, form 1 (T a b l e 1) and an I n i t i a l Placement t e s t , G i n n , 1976 (Table 2 ) . Teacher 3 gave o n l y the Gates w h i l e Teacher 1 gave o n l y the G i n n . The r e s u l t s of the Gates M a c G i n i t i e ( P r i m a r y B, form 1) a d m i n i s t e r e d a t the end of grade two were a l s o a v a i l a b l e f o r Teacher 1's c l a s s . As t h i s t e a c h e r gave no t e s t s i n September the r e s u l t s of the Gates g i v e n a t the b e g i n n i n g of grade two w i l l be r e p o r t e d as an i n d i c a t i o n of the range of r e a d i n g achievement i n her c l a s s . None of the t e a c h e r s r e p o r t e d g i v i n g any t e s t s i n a r i t h m e t i c . 66 Ta b l e 1 Gates M a c G i n i t i e Reading Test C l a s s % i l e 1 2 3 4 5 0 - 2 4 - 3* 3 1 4 25 - 49 - 3 1 2 4 3 50 - 74 4 2 5 7 8 75 - 100 1 5 8 7 1 0 6 a b c 1 62 - 98 1 7 12 - 90 3 0 14 - 99 5 x 2 24 - 99 3 5 0 - 9 9 0 Note * i n d i c a t e s the number of s t u d e n t s w i t h i n each % i l e range a # of s t u d e n t s f o r whom no t e s t r e s u l t s were a v a i l a b l e b Range of comprehension s c o r e s i n p e r c e n t i l e s c # of s t u d e n t s a t t e n d i n g L e a r n i n g A s s i s t a n c e C e n t r e s The r e s u l t s of the r e a d i n g t e s t seem t o i n d i c a t e t h a t f o u r of the c l a s s e s c o n t a i n e d a wide range of achievement l e v e l s . The h e t e r o g e n e i t y of r e a d i n g achievement i n f o u r of the c l a s s e s c o n t r a s t s s h a r p l y w i t h the homogeneity i n C l a s s 1. Teacher 1's c l a s s appeared t o be l a r g e l y composed of c h i l d r e n who were above the 75th p e r c e n t i l e i n r e a d i n g achievement. I f t e a c h e r s group l a r g e l y on the b a s i s of achievement, as the l i t e r a t u r e s u g g e s t s , then we might a n t i c i p a t e t h a t Teacher 1 would t e a c h the c l a s s as a whole i n r e a d i n g w h i l e the o t h e r s may p r e f e r t o group. Only t h r e e of the t e a c h e r s gave an I n i t i a l Placement t e s t ( G i n n , 1976) t o determine the l e v e l of the r e a d e r t o be used ( T a b l e 2 ) . In two of the c l a s s e s (1 and 5) the c h i l d r e n 67 ranged from l e v e l 6 ( r e a d e r recommended f o r grade 1 or grade 2) t o l e v e l 9 ( r e a d e r recommended f o r grade 3 or grade 4) . In C l a s s 4 the c h i l d r e n s c o r e d a t e i t h e r l e v e l 7 or l e v e l 8. Table 2 Ginn I n i t i a l Placement Test C l a s s L e v e l 1 4 5 6 1* - 3 7 9 9 2 8 6 1 3 5 9 4 - 12 Note * i n d i c a t e s the number of s t u d e n t s a t each l e v e l O r g a n i z a t i o n f o r I n s t r u c t i o n At the b e g i n n i n g of the c u r r e n t s t u d y , the end of the f i r s t month i n school,) a l l of the t e a c h e r s had p r o g r e s s e d beyond an i n f o r m a l 'stage i n the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of t h e i r s t u d e n t s . In some rooms and f o r some s u b j e c t s , the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of s t u d e n t s f o r the purpose of i n s t r u c t i o n was p u b l i c l y r e c o g n i z e d i n the f o r m a t i o n of groups. Some t e a c h e r s were more s u b t l e i n t h e i r d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , p r e f e r r i n g t o a s s i g n d i f f e r e n t c u r r i c u l a r m a t e r i a l s (see Appendix 5 f o r a l i s t of c u r r i c u l a r m a t e r i a l i n use i n B. C. s c h o o l s ) . These two approaches a r e not m u t u a l l y e x c l u s i v e ; o f t e n the f o r m a t i o n of groups i s accompanied by d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n the type of 68 m a t e r i a l which i s used. Even when o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n was not o v e r t , the p a r t i c u l a r p a t t e r n of c h i l d r e n s e l e c t e d t o engage i n c e r t a i n a c t i v i t i e s s uggested t h a t a c o v e r t form of g r o u p i n g was i n use. I t may perhaps c l a r i f y m a t t e r s t o f i r s t of a l l d e s c r i b e the o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n which emerged i n each room, b e f o r e p r o c e e d i n g t o to a d i s c u s s i o n of the f a c t o r s which appeared t o govern g r o u p i n g d e c i s i o n s . O r g a n i z a t i o n i n C l a s s 1 Teacher 1 had t h r e e r e a d i n g groups. The groups were l a b e l e d w i t h the name of one of the members of the group. The to p group, c o n s i s t i n g of seven c h i l d r e n were r e a d i n g How i t i s Nowadays ( G i n n , l e v e l 8 ) . The midd l e group, c o n s i s t i n g of t e n c h i l d r e n were r e a d i n g Golden T r a i l s which i s the second reader of grade two of the Language P a t t e r n s s e r i e s ( H o l t , R i n e h a r t and W i n s t o n ) . The bottom group, c o n s i s t i n g of t h r e e c h i l d r e n , were r e a d i n g The Dog Next Door ( G i n n , l e v e l 7 ) . Two weeks b e f o r e the C h r i s t m a s v a c a t i o n a n other c h i l d r e t u r n e d from a r e a d i n g d i a g n o s t i c u n i t and became a f o u r t h group. Teacher 1 taught the c l a s s as a whole f o r s p e l l i n g and a r i t h m e t i c . O r g a n i z a t i o n i n C l a s s 2 Teacher 2 had two groups f o r r e a d i n g . Seventeen c h i l d r e n were u s i n g B e t t e r than G o l d ( M a c m i l l a n Reading S e r i e s ) , recommended f o r the f i r s t p a r t of grade t h r e e , as t h e i r c l a s s r e a d e r . T h i s group a l s o used the second grade two reader i n the s e r i e s ( M a c m i l l a n ) f o r r e a d i n g and an s w e r i n g 69 comprehension q u e s t i o n s i n d e p e n d e n t l y . The second group had s i x members. These c h i l d r e n had had r e m e d i a l h e l p d u r i n g the p r e v i o u s year and were a s s i g n e d Enchanted Gates ( M a c m i l l a n ) p r e s c r i b e d f o r the f i r s t p a r t of grade two. They were not a s s i g n e d a second reader f o r independent work because Teacher 2 f e l t t h a t i n i t i a l l y they needed t o work under c l o s e t e a c h e r s u p e r v i s i o n . Both of the r e a d i n g groups had names. The c h i l d r e n were not grouped f o r e i t h e r s p e l l i n g or a r i t h m e t i c ; i n t h e s e s u b j e c t s the c l a s s worked as a whole. O r g a n i z a t i o n i n C l a s s 4 Teacher 4 had two r e a d i n g groups: t h i r t e e n c h i l d r e n were r e a d i n g How i t i s Nowadays ( G i n n , l e v e l 8) and t e n were r e a d i n g The Dog Next Door ( G i n n , l e v e l 7 ) . However r e a d i n g groups i n a c t i o n were o n l y o b s e r v e d on two o c a s s i o n s ; Teacher 4 o f t e n a s s i g n e d work t o the c l a s s as a whole. In a r i t h m e t i c t h e r e were two groups. N i n e t e e n c h i l d r e n were u s i n g I n v e s t i g a t i n g S c h o o l Mathematics (the p r e s c r i b e d t e x t book) w h i l e a s m a l l group of f o u r c h i l d r e n were u s i n g Mathematics  f o r I n d i v i d u a l Achievement. However the c l a s s was f r e q u e n t l y g i v e n the same a r i t h m e t i c a s s i g n m e n t . S p e l l i n g was taught t o the c l a s s as a whole. O r g a n i z a t i o n i n C l a s s 5 Teacher'5 d e s c r i b e d her program as i n d i v i d u a l i z e d and c l a i m e d t h a t she d i d n ' t have groups. On the second o b s e r v a t i o n (the f i r s t week i n October) a l l of the c h i l d r e n were u s i n g the same r e a d e r , I n s i d e Out ( G i n n , l e v e l 9 ) . 70 However by the second week i n October the c l a s s had been s p l i t i n t o f o u r groups. T h i r t e e n c h i l d r e n were s t i l l r e a d i n g the l e v e l 9 book, f i v e c h i l d r e n were r e a d i n g How i t i s Nowadays ( l e v e l 8 ) , t h r e e c h i l d r e n were r e a d i n g The Dog Next Door ( l e v e l 7 ) , and t h r e e were r e a d i n g One t o Grow On ( l e v e l 6 ) . By the l a s t week i n October the groups had been f o r m a l l y l a b e l e d and work was p l a c e d on the c h a l k b o a r d under the group names. A l l of the c h i l d r e n were w o r k i n g on the same u n i t i n s p e l l i n g but the amount of work r e q u i r e d was reduced f o r the members of the t h i r d and f o u r t h groups. In a r i t h m e t i c the t e a c h e r had two groups. The t o p group i n a r i t h m e t i c c o n s i s t e d of c h i l d r e n i n the f i r s t and second r e a d i n g groups; the bottom group c o n s i s t e d of c h i l d r e n i n the t h i r d and f o u r t h r e a d i n g groups. As w i t h s p e l l i n g , the same u n i t was a s s i g n e d but the amount of work r e q u i r e d was reduced f o r the second group. O r g a n i z a t i o n i n C l a s s 3 Teacher 3 had the most complex system of o r g a n i z a t i o n . She d e s c r i b e d her program as i n d i v i d u a l i z e d , and indeed t h e r e were no groups f o r m a l l y i d e n t i f i e d by name. C h i l d r e n r o t a t e d t h r o u g h c e n t e r s , but work of d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of d i f f i c u l t y was p l a c e d i n the c e n t e r s , and some c h i l d r e n were s p e c i f i c a l l y d i r e c t e d t o do c e r t a i n a s s i g n m e n t s . In s p i t e of the c l a i m t o no groups, a p r o g r e s s i v e d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of c h i l d r e n i n t o " h i d d e n " groups emerged. At the end of September a l l the c h i l d r e n were r e a d i n g How i t i s Nowadays ( l e v e l 8 ) , but they were c a l l e d up t o the r e a d i n g c i r c l e i n groups; the names were read from a l i s t of the r e s u l t s of the Gates M a c G i n i t e r e a d i n g 71 t e s t . Work a s s i g n e d t o the c h i l d r e n was a l s o d i f f e r e n t i a t e d i n terms of d i f f i c u l t y . For example, one group of c h i l d r e n who were sent t o the l i b r a r y were r e q u i r e d t o l i s t the names of a u t h o r s of books w h i l e another group had t o l i s t the a u t h o r s of s t o r i e s . The r a t i o n a l e f o r t h i s assignment was t h a t the f i r s t group of c h i l d r e n were ready t o be encouraged t o r e ad books w h i l e the second group c o u l d s t i l l o n l y manage s t o r i e s . The c h i l d r e n who r e g u l a r l y went t o the L e a r n i n g A s s i s t a n c e C e n t e r ( LAC ) were not r e q u i r e d t o do e i t h e r a c t i v i t y . A l t h o u g h t h e r e were no f o r m a l l y l a b e l e d groups, and group membership c o u l d be f l e x i b l e r a t h e r than f i x e d , i t c e r t a i n l y appeared t h a t the t e a c h e r had a b i l i t y s t r a t a i n her head which she used t o det e r m i n e the i n s t r u c t i o n a l groups: none of the LAC c h i l d r e n was ever i n c l u d e d i n the t o p group. By the mi d d l e of December the absence of f o r m a l group names l e d t o the p r a c t i c e of a s k i n g f o r " a l l the c h i l d r e n who d i d n ' t r e a d y e s t e r d a y " , o r a l t e r n a t e l y naming a c h i l d and a s k i n g f o r the members of the same group t o come f o r w a r d . A l t h o u g h a t the b e g i n n i n g of the year a l l c h i l d r e n began r e a d i n g i n the same book ( l e v e l 8 ) , by the f i r s t week i n December f o u r of the c h i l d r e n were b e i n g g i v e n a s s i g n m e n t s from The Dog Next Door ( l e v e l 7 ) . S i m i l a r l y , p r o g r e s s i v e d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n s p e l l i n g was no t e d . I n i t i a l l y , a l l c h i l d r e n were a s s i g n e d the same s p e l l i n g work c a r d s . In the second week of October f o u r c h i l d r e n were s e l e c t e d t o s t a r t the p r e s c r i b e d s p e l l i n g 72 program because they had done w e l l on the Gates r e a d i n g t e s t . By the m i d d l e of November a n o t h e r group was s t a r t e d on the s p e l l i n g program. The r e m a i n i n g seven c h i l d r e n , f o u r of whom were a t t e n d i n g the LAC were s t i l l w o r k i n g on the s p e l l i n g c a r d s which had been a s s i g n e d i n September. The t e a c h e r d i d not s t a r t them on the s p e l l i n g program because " i t i s too much f o r them t o h a n d l e " . By the end of November some movement of group membership had oc c u r e d but i t appeared t h a t t h e r e were t h r e e d i s t i n c t groups f o r s p e l l i n g . Group one now had t w e l v e c h i l d r e n , and group two had t e n c h i l d r e n . B oth groups were working on d i f f e r e n t u n i t s and t h e r e f o r e had t o be t e s t e d s e p a r a t e l y . The t h i r d group c o n s i s t e d of f i v e c h i l d r e n who s t i l l had not s t a r t e d a s p e l l i n g program. In a r i t h m e t i c , the c h i l d r e n were a l l a s s i g n e d the same workcards and a c t i v i t i e s . However, when a new concept was i n t r o d u c e d , i t was i n t r o d u c e d s e p a r a t e l y t o two groups of c h i l d r e n , and the l e v e l of the work was d i f f e r e n t i a t e d . For example, the i n t r o d u c t i o n of p l a c e v a l u e was done w i t h one group of f o u r t e e n c h i l d r e n , and c o u n t i n g by hundreds t o one thousand was s t r e s s e d . A second group of n i n e c h i l d r e n were c a l l e d up by name: t h r e e of t h e s e c h i l d r e n were LAC c h i l d r e n . P l a c e v a l u e was a l s o i n t r o d u c e d , but c o u n t i n g by t e n s t o one hundred was s t r e s s e d . F a c t o r s I n f l u e n c i n g O r g a n i z a t i o n The seeming d i v e r s i t y i n o r g a n i z a t i o n i n the f i v e c l a s s r o o m s may obscure some u n d e r l y i n g g e n e r a l 73 c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . I t i s perhaps the g e n e r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e s which have g r e a t e r s i g n i f i c a n c e than the d e t a i l s . In t h i s s e c t i o n s e v e r a l c o m m o n a l i t i e s which c r y s t a l l i z e d from the o b s e r v a t i o n a l d a t a w i l l be d i s c u s s e d . T h i s s e c t i o n b e g i n s w i t h a d i s c u s s i o n of the f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n . In p a r t i c u l a r the t r a d i t i o n a l i d e a t h a t achievement i s r e l a t e d t o g r o u p i n g d e c i s i o n s i s examined. I t i s s u g g ested t h a t a l t h o u g h t e a c h e r s c o n s i d e r s t u d e n t achievement l e v e l s , o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s o r e f l e c t s the c o n s t r a i n t s of t i m e . S e c o n d l y , the g e n e r a l s t a b i l i t y of group membership i s d i s c u s s e d , and the p r o p o s i t i o n advanced t h a t t h i s r e f l e c t s a f u n c t i o n a l response t o the demands of the c l a s s r o o m environment. F i n a l l y , the d i f f e r e n c e between o r g a n i z a t i o n i n r e a d i n g , where t e a c h e r s g e n e r a l l y grouped, and i n a r i t h m e t i c , where they g e n e r a l l y taught the c l a s s as a whole, i s examined. I t i s c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h e s e g e n e r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of c l a s s r o o m o r g a n i z a t i o n r a i s e q u e s t i o n s about the v a l i d i t y of the t r a d i t i o n a l view t h a t the t a s k of the t e a c h e r i s t o meet the i n d i v i d u a l needs of s t u d e n t s . Achievement L e v e l s and G r o u ping The t e a c h e r s used t h r e e d i s t i n c t k i n d s of i n f o r m a t i o n i n o r d e r t o group p u p i l s : a n e c d o t a l r e p o r t s , e i t h e r o r a l or w r i t t e n , from th e c h i l d ' s p r e v i o u s t e a c h e r , r e s u l t s of achievement t e s t s and the r e s u l t s of t h e i r own o b s e r v a t i o n s . U s u a l l y , the i n f o r m a t i o n from s e v e r a l s o u r c e s was combined. Only one of the t e a c h e r s , Teacher 2, appeared t o group s o l e l y on the b a s i s of i n f o r m a t i o n from the p r e v i o u s t e a c h e r . In 74 a d d i t i o n , she commented t h a t the LAC c h i l d r e n formed a " n a t u r a l " group. Teacher 1 grouped a c c o r d i n g t o i n f o r m a t i o n from the p r e v i o u s t e a c h e r , but changed her groups on the b a s i s of the a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n from the r e s u l t s of the placement t e s t . The o t h e r t h r e e t e a c h e r s appear t o have used o n l y t e s t i n f o r m a t i o n , t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e i r own judgement. The l i t e r a t u r e s u g g e s t s t h a t achievement i n f l u e n c e s g r o u p i n g d e c i s i o n s . However, a comparison of the achievement l e v e l s i n comprehension on the Gates t e s t w i t h the groups w i t h i n each c l a s s r o o m s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e r e was no one-to-one correspondence between achievement l e v e l and groups (see T a b l e 3 ) . Teachers seemed t o have p l a c e d c h i l d r e n of the same achievement l e v e l i n t o d i f f e r e n t groups, and c o n v e r s e l y , c h i l d r e n a t d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of achievement i n t o the same group. Rosenbaum (1980) comments on t h i s " o v e r l a p p i n g " phenomenon as a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f i n d i n g of s t u d i e s where the f o c u s of i n v e s t i g a t i o n was the homogeneity of groups composed on the b a s i s of a b i l i t y . 75 T a b l e 3 Group Membership and Achievement L e v e l s Gates M a c G i n i t i e s Reading Test % i l e range Group 0 - 2 4 25 - 49 50 - 74 75 - 100 C l a s s 1 1 2 3 - 3 1 7 7 1 C l a s s 2 1 2 3 2 1 2 8 C l a s s 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 1 5 3 2 4 2 C l a s s 4 1 2 1 4 4 4 9 C l a s s 5 1 2 3 4 1 3 3 1 6 2 6 An i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the achievement l e v e l s of the members of each group, as measured by the Gates t e s t , seems t o suggest t h a t achievement had g r e a t e r s a l i e n c y f o r some t e a c h e r s than f o r o t h e r s . I t might be argued t h a t as a s t a n d a r d i z e d t e s t the Gates t e s t measures g e n e r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of r e a d i n g achievement; c o n s e q u e n t l y , i t s pra g m a t i c v a l u e may be l i m i t e d . 76 Three of the t e a c h e r s gave the Ginn Placement t e s t (see Table 4 ) . The p r a c t i c a l advantage of t h i s t e s t i s t h a t i t recommends a t which l e v e l of the r e a d i n g s e r i e s the s t u d e n t s s h o u l d be p l a c e d . The c o m p o s i t i o n of Teacher 4's groups and Teacher 5's groups (Table 4) su g g e s t s t h a t they grouped p r i m a r i l y as a r e s u l t of the Placement t e s t : t h e i r g r o u p i n g s do not r e f l e c t as c l o s e l y the r e s u l t s of the Gates t e s t ( T a b l e 3) . T a b l e 4 Group Membership and Achievement L e v e l s I n i t i a l Placement Test L e v e l s Group 6 7 8 9 N C l a s s 1 1 2 3 1 * 4 1 5 2 3 2 7 2 10 3 C l a s s 4 1 2 1 3 10 1 3 10 C l a s s 5 1 2 3 4 5 3 3 - -12 13 6 3 4 Note * N i n d i c a t e s the number of s t u d e n t s i n d i c a t e s the number of s t u d e n t s a t each l e v e l i n each r e a d i n g group F a c t o r s o t h e r than achievement may i n f l u e n c e o r g a n i z a t i o n a l d e c i s i o n s . The e x t e n t t o which s u b j e c t i v e i n f o r m a t i o n i n f l u e n c e s the d e c i s i o n s made by t e a c h e r s i s p r o b a b l y , i d i o s y n c r a t i c , but i t seems l i k e l y t h a t a l l t e a c h e r s are i n f l u e n c e d t o some degree by the i m p r e s s i o n s they form as 77 a r e s u l t of d a i l y c o n t a c t w i t h the c h i l d r e n . In t h i s group of t e a c h e r s , c l a s s r o o m i n f o r m a t i o n p r o b a b l y was used. In p a r t i c u l a r Teacher 3 made a p o i n t of e x p l a i n i n g t h a t she l i k e s " t o see what they can do d u r i n g September". Teacher 4's s e a r c h f o r i n f o r m a t i o n was s l i g h t l y more f o r m a l i z e d i n t h a t she gave her own teacher-made t e s t s d u r i n g the second week of s c h o o l . I t seems r e a s o n a b l e t o c o n c l u d e t h a t achievement as measured by t e s t s , by a n e c d o t a l r e p o r t s or by o b s e r v a t i o n s , f i g u r e d p r o m i n e n t l y i n the g r o u p i n g d e c i s i o n s made by the s e t e a c h e r s , but perhaps d i d not determine the placement of c h i l d r e n i n i n s t r u c t i o n a l groups i n a l l the c l a s s r o o m s . Time C o n s t r a i n t s and O r g a n i z a t i o n Teachers t y p i c a l l y t a l k of g r o u p i n g as a means t o b e t t e r s u i t i n s t r u c t i o n t o the a b i l i t i e s and a p t i t u d e s of i n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t s . • A c c o r d i n g l y , one would p r e d i c t t h a t achievement l e v e l would s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n f l u e n c e g r o u p i n g d e c i s i o n s . Yet the d a t a shows the e x i s t e n c e of w i t h i n group v a r i a b i l i t y i n r e a d i n g . F u r t h e r m o r e , i f t e a c h e r s group a c c o r d i n g t o the i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s of s t u d e n t s , one would a n t i c i p a t e t h a t c l a s s e s which were heterogeneous i n achievement would have more groups w h i l e t h o s e which were homogeneous would have l e s s groups. C l e a r l y , t h i s i s not su p p o r t e d based on the o b s e r v a t i o n s i n the s e f i v e c l a s s r o o m s . W h i l e t e a c h e r s d i d u t i l i z e achievement d a t a t o o r g a n i z e t h e i r c l a s s e s i n r e a d i n g , they d i d not f o r a r i t h m e t i c . A d d i t i o n a l l y , c h i l d r e n were moved from groups on the b a s i s of t h e i r c l a s s r o o m performance, r a t h e r than t h e i r achievement as 78 measured by t e s t s . T h i s seems t o suggest t h a t g r o u p i n g d e c i s i o n s may have been i n f l u e n c e d by c o n c e r n s o t h e r than m a x i m i z i n g the p o t e n t i a l of i n d i v i d u a l s . One p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n i s t h a t t e a c h e r t a l k may be i n f l u e n c e d by the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of t e a c h i n g as meeting the i n d i v i d u a l needs of l e a r n e r s . On the o t h e r hand, t e a c h e r a c t i o n may be more c o n s t r a i n e d by the p r a c t i c a l n e c e s s i t y of d e a l i n g w i t h groups of l e a r n e r s . A l t h o u g h a l l the t e a c h e r s t a l k e d about the d i f f i c u l t y of not h a v i n g enough time t o get e v e r y t h i n g done, o n l y one t e a c h e r appeared t o p e r c e i v e the i n f l u e n c e of time on her o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n . Teacher 2 r e p o r t e d t h a t she grouped p r i m a r i l y on the b a s i s of i n f o r m a t i o n from the grade two t e a c h e r . She a l s o i n d i c a t e d t h a t she d i d not d i f f e r e n t i a t e f u r t h e r between her p u p i l s because of the c o n s t r a i n t s of t i m e . Teacher 2 remarked t h a t one of her r e a d i n g groups was l a r g e and t h a t she c o u l d s p l i t i t . She m a i n t a i n e d t h a t the advantage of kee p i n g the group i n t a c t was the o r g a n i z a t i o n of t i m e : "You have t o be r e a l l y o r g a n i z e d and watch your time w i t h t h r e e groups". She i n t e n d e d t o s p l i t the group a f t e r C h r i s t m a s when they would be ready t o move i n t o a an o t h e r s e r i e s of r e a d e r s (Language P a t t e r n s ) . She thought i t would be n e c e s s a r y t o s p l i t the group a t t h i s time because she f e l t t h a t the s e r i e s was h a r d e r and t h a t a few of the c h i l d r e n would be a b l e " t o move a t a f a s t e r pace and do the harder e x e r c i s e s " . T h i s t e a c h e r ' s o r g a n i z a t i o n i n s p e l l i n g was a l s o i n f l u e n c e d by the c o n s t r a i n t s of t i m e . She ta u g h t the c l a s s 79 as a whole because i t " t a k e s l e s s time t o t e a c h the c l a s s as a whole". She a l s o p r e f e r r e d not t o group i n a r i t h m e t i c because " t h e r e wasn't enough time t o work w i t h the groups p r o p e r l y and not enough time t o work w i t h i n d i v i d u a l c h i l d r e n " . She r e p o r t e d t h a t she had grouped the p r e v i o u s year because of the v a r i a t i o n i n achievement l e v e l s i n t h a t c l a s s . She d i d n ' t i n t e n d t o s p l i t the c l a s s f o r a r i t h m e t i c t h i s year as "the c h i l d r e n a r e q u i t e s i m i l a r i n achievement". A l t h o u g h t h i s t e a c h e r was the o n l y one who appeared t o a p p r e c i a t e , a t a c o n s c i o u s l e v e l , t h a t g r o u p i n g a f f e c t e d time use i n a c l a s s r o o m , a l l of the o t h e r t e a c h e r s who grouped seemed t o f a c e time a l l o c a t i o n problems. (Time a l l o c a t i o n d i f f i c u l t i e s a r e d i s c u s s e d i n c h a p t e r s i x ) . I t seems r e a s o n a b l e t o c o n s i d e r t h a t o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n i n r e a d i n g may have been i n f l u e n c e d by time f a c t o r s . Perhaps the aim of meeting i n d i v i d u a l needs w i t h i n a c o l l e c t i v e s e t t i n g i s i d e a l i s t i c but not p r a c t i c a l . Teachers do not have the l u x u r y of p e r m i t t i n g i n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t s u n l i m i t e d time as p a r t of t h e i r mandate i s t o have the c l a s s c o v e r the m a t e r i a l f o r the grade l e v e l . A l t h o u g h p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y t e a c h e r s may be wedded t o the n o t i o n of meeting i n d i v i d u a l needs, the p r a c t i c a l n e c e s s i t y of c o v e r i n g a c e r t a i n amount o f work d u r i n g the year may l e a d t o the development of a compromise. The d i v i s i o n of a c l a s s i n t o i n s t r u c t i o n a l groups may r e f l e c t an accommodation t o i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s a t a g r o s s l e v e l of a n a l y s i s ; a l t h o u g h groups were no't homogeneous i n c o m p o s i t i o n the f a s t e r l e a r n e r s 80 g e n e r a l l y appeared t o be s e p a r a t e d from the s l o w e s t . However, once grouped, the c h i l d r e n i n an i n s t r u c t i o n a l group proceeded th r o u g h the c u r r i c u l a r m a t e r i a l s a t the same r a t e ( c f . B a r r , 1975, p. 492). C o n s e q u e n t l y , i t i s suggested t h a t c l a s s r o o m o r g a n i z a t i o n f u n c t i o n s t o e f f e c t a compromise between the time needs of i n d i v i d u a l s and the time needs of the c l a s s as a whole. S t a b i l i t y of Groups G e n e r a l l y , group membership was r e l a t i v e l y s t a b l e but the g e n e r a l s t a b i l i t y i n group membership s h o u l d not imply t h a t changes were never made. Movement between groups d i d o c c u r but i t was not common and took p l a c e q u i t e e a r l y on i n the s c h o o l y e a r . Even i n the rooms which had c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d groups w i t h s t a b l e membership, t h e r e seemed t o be a s e t t l i n g i n p e r i o d , the f i r s t two t o t h r e e weeks of s c h o o l , where t e a c h e r s were a p p a r e n t l y a s s e s s i n g the f i t between i n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t s and the group t o which they were a s s i g n e d . In two of the rooms where changes o c c u r e d i n i n i t i a l group placement t e a c h e r s r e p o r t e d t h a t they moved s t u d e n t s on the b a s i s of achievement t e s t r e s u l t s . In C l a s s 4, one c h i l d was moved up t o the next r e a d i n g group because the t e a c h e r d e c i d e d he was " i n c o r r e c t l y p l a c e d " . In the o t h e r room, C l a s s 1, two c h i l d r e n moved up and two moved down. One c h i l d was moved from the bottom t o the m i d d l e group, and one from the m i d d l e t o the t o p : two of the t o p group c h i l d r e n were moved t o the m i d d l e group. 81 I t i s p r o b a b l y i n c o r r e c t t o assume t h a t t h e s e t e a c h e r s made the s e moves s t r i c t l y on the b a s i s of achievement t e s t r e s u l t s . In C l a s s 4, the c h i l d t o be moved up was a l s o o bserved t o be f i n i s h e d ahead of the group t o which he was o r i g i n a l l y a s s i g n e d . How f a r f i n i s h i n g q u i c k l y i n f l u e n c e d the t e a c h e r ' s d e c i s i o n i s hard t o e v a l u a t e , but she d i d move one c h i l d down i n mathematics, w i t h o u t the c o r r o b o r a t i o n of t e s t r e s u l t s , because he " c o u l d n ' t cope" and r a r e l y f i n i s h e d the a s s i g n e d work. The f o u r moves i n C l a s s 1 a r e i n t e r e s t i n g as o n l y one of them r e f l e c t s the r e s u l t s of achievement t e s t i n g ; a boy who s c o r e d a t the l o w e s t l e v e l ( l e v e l 7) on the placement t e s t was moved from the top t o the m i d d l e group. Two of the o t h e r c h i l d r e n who a l s o s c o r e d a t l e v e l 7 were moved up: one from the bottom t o the m i d d l e group and one from the m i d d l e t o the top group. The f o u r t h move, a boy who s c o r e d a t the h i g h e s t achievement l e v e l i n t h i s c l a s s ( l e v e l 9) was moved from the h i g h e s t group t o the m i d d l e group. The t e a c h e r commented t h a t he was a " b r i g h t boy" who was not w o r k i n g w e l l . L a t e r on i n the term she commented t h a t she was h a v i n g t o keep him i n a f t e r s c h o o l because he was not f i n i s h i n g h i s work. In c o n t r a s t t o t h i s poor worker, the two c h i l d r e n who were moved up were b o t h d e s c r i b e d by the t e a c h e r as b e i n g "good" w o r k e r s . The s u g g e s t i o n a r i s i n g from t h e s e o b s e r v a t i o n s i s t h a t some t e a c h e r s may i n i t i a l l y form groups on the b a s i s of achievement but then make a d j u s t m e n t s a c c o r d i n g t o whether p a r t i c u l a r c h i l d r e n can keep up w i t h the speed of the group. 82 In g e n e r a l g r o u p i n g , whether f o r m a l or " h i d d e n " , was more s t a b l e than f l e x i b l e and r a p i d i t y of g r o u p i n g appeared t o be l i n k e d t o s t a b i l i t y . Three of the c l a s s r o o m s were grouped by mid September ( 1 , 2 and 3 ) , and the f o u r t h f o r m a l l y o r g a n i z e d room (5) had l a b e l e d groups by e a r l y O c t o b e r . These groups remained s t a b l e a t l e a s t d u r i n g the p e r i o d of t h i s s t u d y . C l a s s 3, where "hidden" groups appeared t o be o p e r a t i n g , demonstrated a c e r t a i n f l e x i b i l i t y i n g r o u p i n g arrangments. There appeared t o be t h r e e c o r e groups f o r most of the term but membership d i d f l u c t a t e somewhat. In December when more s t a b l e groups ( s t i l l u n l a b e l e d ) appeared t o have emerged, most n o t i c e a b l y i n s p e l l i n g , a change was o b s e r v e d . C h i l d r e n were regrouped i n t o f i v e groups. The t e a c h e r i d e n t i f i e d t h i s as a " d e m o c r a t i c " g r o u p i n g p r o c e d u r e because the c h i l d r e n s e l e c t e d which of f i v e s e t s of s p e l l i n g work they wished t o do. A l s o a t t h i s t i m e , the r e a d i n g books were t e m p o r a r i l y abandoned i n o r d e r t o r e a d a s t o r y from another book which was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h some s o c i a l s t u d i e s work b e i n g done by the c l a s s . For t h i s s t o r y , the c l a s s was d i v i d e d i n t o two groups and the work d i f f e r e n t i a t e d a c c o r d i n g t o the achievement l e v e l of the members of the groups. One of the groups had read the complete s t o r y i n d e p e n d e n t l y on the p r e v i o u s day and took t u r n s r e a d i n g passages o r a l l y . The second group read one or two pages s i l e n t l y under the d i r e c t i o n of the t e a c h e r and then answered comprehension q u e s t i o n s o r a l l y . A l t h o u g h t h i s was a change i n g r o u p i n g , and t h e r e f o r e r e p r e s e n t s a more f l e x i b l e approach, achievement 83 l e v e l s t i l l seemed t o be the dominant f o r c e . The c o n c l u s i o n was reached t h a t a p a r t from i n i t i a l changes g e n e r a l l y group membership was s t a t i c r a t h e r than dynamic. The f l e x i b l e g r o u p i n g advocated i n the r e a d i n g methodology l i t e r a t u r e ( A l e x a n d e r , 1979; Smith and Johnson, 1976), based on i n t e r e s t , f r i e n d s h i p , t o p i c s e t c . d i d not appear t o be u t i l i z e d by these t e a c h e r s . D i s c u s s i o n I t i s argued t h a t the groups emerged i n response t o the demands of the c l a s s r o o m environment. C o n s e q u e n t l y , the g e n e r a l s t a b i l i t y of group membership a f t e r the o r i g i n a l s e t t l i n g i n p e r i o d was i n t e r p r e t e d as r e f l e c t i n g a f u n c t i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p a t t e r n . The c l a i m t h a t g r o u p i n g emerged as a response t o the demands of the c l a s s r o o m environment r e q u i r e s some e l a b o r a t i o n . T r a d i t i o n a l l y , the j o b of the t e a c h e r has been c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as meeting the needs of i n d i v i d u a l l e a r n e r s . I t i s perhaps i n s t r u c t i v e t o i n v e s t i g a t e the p r a c t i c a l r a m i f i c a t i o n s of a t t e m p t i n g t o meet the i n d i v i d u a l time needs of s t u d e n t s . In o r d e r t o meet i n d i v i d u a l time needs presumably t e a c h e r s would have t o p e r m i t i n d i v i d u a l s as much time as they r e q u i r e d t o complete the work. I n d u b i t a b l y some s t u d e n t s w i l l t a k e more time and o t h e r s l e s s t i m e ; c o n s e q u e n t l y d i f f e r e n c e s i n performance r a t e s may be a n t i c i p a t e d . D i f f e r e n c e s i n performance r a t e s l i k e l y have m a n a g e r i a l consequences; s t u d e n t s w i t h time on t h e i r hands a r e a p e r e n n i a l nightmare f o r t e a c h e r s . D i f f e r e n c e s i n 84 performance r a t e s l i k e l y a l s o have i n s t r u c t i o n a l consequences; c h i l d r e n who work q u i c k l y w i l l l i k e l y c o v e r more of the c u r r i c u l u m than c h i l d r e n who work s l o w l y . T h i s a n a l y s i s r a i s e s two q u e s t i o n s : t o what e x t e n t can t e a c h e r s manage c l a s s e s i n which t h e r e a r e s u b s t a n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n performance r a t e s , and s e c o n d l y , t o what e x t e n t can t e a c h e r s enable s t u d e n t s i n such c l a s s e s t o c o v e r the m a t e r i a l f o r the grade l e v e l . A t tempts t o meet the time needs of i n d i v i d u a l s may have consequences which a r e u n d e s i r a b l e both m a n a g e r i a l l y and i n s t r u c t i o n a l l y . C o n s e q u e n t l y , i t i s proposed t h a t t e a c h e r s attempt t o s t e e r a m i d d l e c o u r s e and o r g a n i z e t h e i r c l a s s e s so t h a t they a v o i d s u b s t a n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n performance r a t e s and s u b s t a n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n c o v e r a g e . Grouping appears t o have the p o t e n t i a l t o e f f e c t t h i s compromise. Teachers may a v o i d extremes i n performance r a t e s and extremes i n coverage by c o n d u c t i n g groups of l e a r n e r s , s i m i l a r i n time needs, through the c u r r i c u l u m a t the same t i m e . I t has been argued t h a t g r o u p i n g i s a compromise which p e r m i t s t e a c h e r c o n t r o l of c o v e r a g e , and y e t a m e l i o r a t e s , t o some e x t e n t , the problem of d i f f e r e n t i a l performance r a t e s . In e f f e c t , g r o u p i n g may be seen as r e d u c i n g d i f f e r e n c e s i n performance r a t e s amongst s t u d e n t s . The i d e a t h a t g r o u p i n g may reduce performance r a t e s seems d i a m e t r i c a l l y opposed t o the t r a d i t i o n a l n o t i o n t h a t g r o u p i n g f u n c t i o n s t o meet i n d i v i d u a l needs. T h i s apparent paradox may be r e s o l v e d by u t i l i z i n g the c o n c e p t s of m a n i f e s t and l a t e n t f u n c t i o n s 85 (Merton, 1967). The d i s t i n c t i o n between m a n i f e s t and l a t e n t f u n c t i o n s was i n t r o d u c e d by Merton (1967) t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between c o n s c i o u s m o t i v a t i o n f o r s o c i a l b e h a v i o r and i t s o b j e c t i v e consequences. M a n i f e s t f u n c t i o n s a r e those consequences which a r e both i n t e n d e d and r e c o g n i z e d ; l a t e n t f u n c t i o n s a r e those consequences which are u n i n t e n d e d and u n r e c o g n i z e d . A c c o r d i n g l y , one might argue t h a t the m a n i f e s t f u n c t i o n of g r o u p i n g i s t o b e t t e r meet i n d i v i d u a l needs. T h i s c e r t a i n l y seems t o be the i n t e n t i o n of t e a c h e r s when they group. Grouping p e r m i t s a more a p p r o p r i a t e matching of c u r r i c u l u m m a t e r i a l s t o s t u d e n t achievement l e v e l s . Presumably t h i s consequence of g r o u p i n g i s i n t e n d e d and r e c o g n i z e d by t e a c h e r s . However, the u n i n t e n d e d and u n r e c o g n i z e d consequence of g r o u p i n g i s t h a t s t u d e n t s w i t h d i f f e r e n t time needs a r e t r e a t e d as a s i n g l e u n i t and t h e r e f o r e c o v e r the c u r r i c u l u m a t the same t i m e . A c c o r d i n g l y , one might propose t h a t the l a t e n t f u n c t i o n of g r o u p i n g i s t o reduce d i f f e r e n c e s amongst s t u d e n t s . The d i s t i n c t i o n between m a n i f e s t and l a t e n t f u n c t i o n s p r o v i d e s a c o n c e p t u a l t o o l which i s u s e f u l i n s e p a r a t i n g i n t e n t i o n s from the consequences of b e h a v i o r . C o n s e q u e n t l y , the a n a l y s i s of g r o u p i n g i n terms of i t s l a t e n t f u n c t i o n s has the p o t e n t i a l t o r e s o l v e the apparent c o n t r a d i c t i o n between the i n t e n t i o n s of t e a c h e r s and the consequences of t h e i r a c t i o n s . The argument t h a t s i t u a t i o n s or e v e n t s have u n i n t e n d e d and u n r e c o g n i z e d consequences does not i m p l y a one-to-one 8 6 c o r r e s p o n d e n c e between s i t u a t i o n s or e v e n t s and f u n c t i o n s . Merton (1967) e x p l i c i t l y r e j e c t e d the i d e a of the u n i v e r s a l i t y of f u n c t i o n s . He argued t h a t d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l forms may s e r v e the same f u n c t i o n and c o n v e r s e l y t h a t the same f u n c t i o n may be d i v e r s e l y f i l l e d by a l t e r n a t i v e s o c i a l forms. T h i s i d e a of f u n c t i o n a l a l t e r n a t i v e s s t a n d s i n o p p o s i t i o n t o the concept of u n i v e r s a l i t y . A c c o r d i n g l y , one might q u e s t i o n i f any o t h e r form of o r g a n i z a t i o n , b e s i d e s g r o u p i n g , f u n c t i o n s t o reduce d i f f e r e n c e s amongst s t u d e n t s , or i f g r o u p i n g has d i f f e r e n t f u n c t i o n s . I t i s a p p r o p r i a t e a t t h i s j u n c t u r e t o r e t u r n t o the main t h r e a d of the argument. I t w i l l be r e c a l l e d t h a t i t was argued t h a t the m a n i f e s t f u n c t i o n of g r o u p i n g , meeting i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s , does not c o m p l e t e l y e x p l a i n the o b s e r v a t i o n a l d a t a of the f i v e c l a s s r o o m s . Yet i t seems r e a s o n a b l e t o m a i n t a i n t h a t the e x i s t e n c e and s u r v i v a l of t h i s o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p a t t e r n s u g g e s t s t h a t i t has an a d a p t i v e f u n c t i o n . I f t h i s i s so, then i t becomes e m i n e n t l y r e a s o n a b l e t o attempt t o account f o r the e x i s t e n c e of t h i s p a t t e r n i n terms of i t s l a t e n t f u n c t i o n s , or i t s u n r e c o g n i z e d and u n i n t e n d e d consequences. The purpose of the f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n w i l l be t o persuade the r e a d e r t h a t the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of g r o u p i n g from the p o i n t of view of i t s l a t e n t f u n c t i o n s p r o v i d e s g r e a t e r i n s i g h t s i n t o c l a s s r o o m p r o c e s s e s than the t r a d i t i o n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n which emphasizes the m a n i f e s t f u n c t i o n of g r o u p i n g . 87 To Group or Not To Group The most n o t i c e a b l e g e n e r a l i z a t i o n a r i s i n g from the o b s e r v a t i o n a l d a t a i s t h a t the t e a c h e r s tended t o group i n r e a d i n g but not i n a r i t h m e t i c or s p e l l i n g . One might c o n c l u d e t h a t the t e a c h e r s tended t o d i s c r i m i n a t e amongst p u p i l s f o r r e a d i n g but appeared t o i g n o r e d i f f e r e n c e s i n a r i t h m e t i c and s p e l l i n g . A l t h o u g h two of the t e a c h e r s , Teacher 4 and Teacher 5, d i d have groups i n a r i t h m e t i c which i m p l i e s some d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , each c l a s s g e n e r a l l y o p e r a t e d as a whole. A n a l o g o u s l y i n r e a d i n g , a l t h o u g h Teacher 5 c l a i m e d not t o have groups which i m p l i e s l a c k of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of d i f f e r e n c e s , i n a c t u a l i t y she g e n e r a l l y s e l e c t e d p a r t i c u l a r s e t s of c h i l d r e n t o read a t d i f f e r e n t t i m e s . The p r e v a l e n c e of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n r e a d i n g and l a c k of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n a r i t h m e t i c and s p e l l i n g prompts a d i s c u s s i o n of some p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n s f o r the d i f f e r e n c e s i n o r g a n i z a t i o n between these s u b j e c t s . In the e n s u i n g s e c t i o n two p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n s a r e examined. F i r s t , d i f f e r e n c e s a r i s i n g from g e n e r a l c u l t u r a l p r e d i l e c t i o n s a r e d i s c u s s e d . S e c o n d l y , the i n f l u e n c e of time c o n s t r a i n t s on o r g a n i z a t i o n a r e c o n s i d e r e d . C l a s s r o o m time c o n s t r a i n t s a re seen as i n c r e a s i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y of management and i n s t r u c t i o n a l problems. O r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n i s i n t e r p r e t e d as f u n c t i o n i n g t o reduce such problems. I t i s suggested t h a t g r o u p i n g r e f l e c t s a t r a d e o f f of mastery f o r cove r a g e , and c o n v e r s e l y , no g r o u p i n g r e f l e c t s a t r a d e o f f of coverage f o r mastery. 88 F i r s t , the p r o p o s i t i o n t h a t s t u d e n t achievement may be r e f l e c t e d d i f f e r e n t i a l l y i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n i s c o n s i d e r e d . On the one hand, i t seems f e a s i b l e t o argue t h a t i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n r e a d i n g achievement are more marked than the d i f f e r e n c e s i n achievement i n a r i t h m e t i c and s p e l l i n g . S k i l l i n r e a d i n g appears t o be i n f l u e n c e d by e x p e r i e n t i a l f a c t o r s such t h a t d i f f e r e n t i a l exposure t o language use might be e x p e c t e d t o l e a d t o i n c r e a s e d v a r i a b i l i t y i n r e a d i n g achievement ( H a r r i s and S m ith, 1976; S m i t h , 1978). Grouping i n r e a d i n g may be an o r g a n i z a t i o n a l response to these d i f f e r e n c e s . However, t r a d i t i o n a l l y the t e a c h i n g of a r i t h m e t i c and s p e l l i n g have been the p r o v i n c e of the s c h o o l s ; i t i s l e s s l i k e l y t h a t many s t u d e n t s have had the exposure t o t h e s e s u b j e c t s t o s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n f l u e n c e achievement. Hence, one might r e a s o n a b l y a n t i c i p a t e l e s s v a r i a b i l i t y i n t h e s e s u b j e c t s than i n r e a d i n g . The tendency t o keep the c l a s s w o r k i ng t o g e t h e r i n a r i t h m e t i c and s p e l l i n g may r e f l e c t g r e a t e r homogeneity of achievement i n t h e s e s u b j e c t s . On the o t h e r hand, a c t u a l v a r i a b i l i t y may be comparable a c r o s s the d i f f e r e n t s u b j e c t s and t e a c h e r s may choose t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e o n l y i n r e a d i n g f o r p a r t i c u l a r r e a s o n s . A c o n c o m i t a n t of g r o u p i n g f o r i n s t r u c t i o n i s the d i v i s i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n a l time amongst the groups. I n s t r u c t i n g the c l a s s as a whole has the advantage t h a t the m a t e r i a l may be p r e s e n t e d t o a l l the c h i l d r e n a t the same t i m e . I f time i s l i m i t e d , one might a n t i c i p a t e t h a t t e a c h e r s would be r e l u c t a n t 89 t o group, as i t would be d i f f i c u l t t o i n s t r u c t each group a d e q u a t e l y , and a l s o c o v e r the p r e s c r i b e d amount of m a t e r i a l : i t w i l l be r e c a l l e d t h a t Teacher 2 e x p l i c i t l y made t h i s argument f o r her l a c k of g r o u p i n g i n a r i t h m e t i c . T h i s appears t o be a p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n of the d i f f e r e n c e s i n o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p a t t e r n s i n r e a d i n g and a r i t h m e t i c . In B.C. s c h o o l s the time a l l o t m e n t f o r the p r i m a r y grades i s 640 minutes f o r Language A r t s (45% of the t o t a l time) and 200 minutes f o r a r i t h m e t i c (14% of the t o t a l t i m e ) . E x t r a time f o r Language A r t s l i k e l y p e r m i t s t e a c h e r s t o make d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n s amongst s t u d e n t s : t h e r e i s more time i n which t o d e a l w i t h two or t h r e e r e a d i n g groups. However, the l i m i t e d time i n a r i t h m e t i c l i k e l y hampers the i n s t r u c t i o n of groups, and t h e r e f o r e p r o v i d e s an e x p l a n a t i o n f o r the l a c k of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n t h i s s u b j e c t . In r e a d i n g the t e a c h e r s a s s i g n e d books of d i f f e r e n t r e a d i n g l e v e l s t o each group. I t seems r e a s o n a b l e t o argue t h a t g i v i n g s t u d e n t s of d i s p a r a t e r e a d i n g l e v e l s the same r e a d i n g m a t e r i a l w i l l l i k e l y l e a d t o the f a s t e r s t u d e n t s f i n i s h i n g q u i c k l y , w h i l e the s l o w e r reader w i l l r e q u i r e more ti m e . D i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of the l e v e l of the m a t e r i a l l i k e l y r e s u l t s i n the f a s t e r workers r e c e i v i n g h a r d e r a s s i g n m e n t s , which presumably take l o n g e r , and the slow e r workers r e c e i v i n g e a s i e r a s s i g n m e n t s , which presumably r e q u i r e l e s s t i m e . A c c o r d i n g l y , d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of the l e v e l of the work l i k e l y f u n c t i o n s t o reduce the performance r a t e s amongst s t u d e n t s . In e f f e c t , i t i s proposed t h a t d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of the l e v e l of 90 work may f u n c t i o n t o e q u a l i z e the performance r a t e s of the s t u d e n t s . Perhaps g r o u p i n g c h i l d r e n of s i m i l a r a b i l i t y , and e n s u r i n g t h a t each group has m a t e r i a l commensurate w i t h t h e i r r e a d i n g achievement, may b e t t e r be i n t e r p r e t e d as f u n c t i o n i n g t o a m e l i o r a t e the problem of d i f f e r e n t i a l performance r a t e s , than as an accommodation t o i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . In a r i t h m e t i c and s p e l l i n g s t u d e n t s were g e n e r a l l y a s s i g n e d the same work, sometimes w i t h m o d i f i c a t i o n s . T e aching the c l a s s as a whole p e r m i t s the p r e s e n t a t i o n of c u r r i c u l u m m a t e r i a l t o a l l s t u d e n t s a t the same time thus a v o i d i n g the i n s t r u c t i o n a l problem of d i f f e r e n t i a l c o v e r a g e . C o n s e q u e n t l y , i t i s proposed t h a t no g r o u p i n g i n a r i t h m e t i c f u n c t i o n s t o e q u a l i z e c o n t e n t c o v e r a g e . T h e r e f o r e , i t might be argued t h a t both d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n and l a c k of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n amongst s t u d e n t s , which have consequences i n terms of e q u a l i z i n g performance r a t e s or e q u a l i z i n g c u r r i c u l u m c o v e r a g e , a r e responses t o the time c o n s t r a i n t s of the c l a s s r o o m , and f u n c t i o n t o reduce management and i n s t r u c t i o n a l problems. A f u r t h e r a n a l y s i s of o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n i s w a r r a n t e d . G rouping t y p i c a l l y p r o v i d e s f o r d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of d i f f i c u l t y l e v e l of i n s t r u c t i o n a l m a t e r i a l . As an example, c o n s i d e r the p r o v i s i o n of books of d i f f e r i n g l e v e l s of d i f f i c u l t y t o r e a d i n g groups. Exposure t o books of d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of d i f f i c u l t y l i k e l y l e a d s t o d i f f e r i n g l e v e l s of mastery (or depth of l e a r n i n g ) . I t i s suggested t h a t the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of r e a d e r s r e p r e s e n t s a compromise between the 91 i n c o m p a t i b l e g o a l s of coverage and mastery. To r e q u i r e a l l s t u d e n t s , i r r e s p e c t i v e of r e a d i n g a b i l i t y , t o read the grade t h r e e book would presumably r e q u i r e much t i m e . The l i k e l i h o o d e x i s t s t h a t a pace of i n s t r u c t i o n which would be s u i t a b l e f o r the p o o r e r r e a d e r s would slow p r o g r e s s t o the e x t e n t t h a t the c l a s s would not f i n i s h the p r e s c r i b e d t e x t . In e f f e c t , i t i s suggested t h a t by d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g the l e v e l of the r e a d i n g m a t e r i a l , t e a c h e r s a r e t r a d i n g - o f f mastery by some s t u d e n t s , f o r coverage of the grade t h r e e c u r r i c u l u m by o t h e r s . S p e c i f i c a l l y , the c h i l d r e n i n the lower groups would not l i k e l y r e a c h a grade t h r e e l e v e l of r e a d i n g achievement, but the c h i l d r e n i n the h i g h e r groups would be a b l e t o cover the c u r r i c u l u m . On the o t h e r hand, no g r o u p i n g (whole c l a s s t e a c h i n g ) t y p i c a l l y i n v o l v e s a l a c k of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n a l m a t e r i a l s . As an example, c o n s i d e r t h a t a r i t h m e t i c and s p e l l i n g were taught t o the whole c l a s s , u s i n g b a s i c a l l y the same i n s t r u c t i o n a l m a t e r i a l . In or d e r f o r the c l a s s t o p r o g r e s s i n u n i s o n , coverage i s l i k l e y t o be slow; i n t h i s case coverage of the c u r r i c u l u m i s t r a d e d - o f f f o r mastery. I t i s s uggested t h a t d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n or l a c k of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n among s t u d e n t s r e f l e c t s a compromise between c u r r i c u l u m coverage and c u r r i c u l u m mastery r a t h e r than an accommodation t o , or d i s r e g a r d o f , i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , a t t e n t i o n i s next d i r e c t e d t o the p r o c e s s e s u n d e r l y i n g d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n . 92 L e v e l i n g and Sharpening There i s some e v i d e n c e t h a t even a t the end of the f i r s t week w i t h a new c l a s s t e a c h e r s a r e c a p a b l e of making d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s amongst s t u d e n t s (Good and Brophy, 1978). In s p i t e of p r o g r e s s i v e d i c t a t o t r e a t s t u d e n t s as i n d i v i d u a l s t hese i n i t i a l i m p r e s s i o n s seem t o suggest t h a t t e a c h e r s tend t o c l a s s i f y s t u d e n t s . I t has been suggested t h a t t h i s tendency t o c l a s s i f y i s f u n c t i o n a l i n t h a t i t e n a b l e s the t e a c h e r t o reduce what o t h e r w i s e would be i n o r d i n a t e c o m p l e x i t y ( D o y l e , 1979; S h a v e l s o n and S t e r n , 1981). The comments of t e a c h e r s t o r e s e a r c h e r s or c o l l e a g u e s a t the end of the f i r s t week no doubt a r e i n f o r m a l , and how these i n f l u e n c e or a r e r e l a t e d t o l a t e r c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s which are f o r m a l i z e d as i n s t r u c t i o n a l groups, i s a q u e s t i o n which might be answered e m p i r i c a l l y . N e v e r t h e l e s s , an e a r l y tendency of t e a c h e r s t o note s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s amongst s t u d e n t s has been e s t a b l i s h e d . The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of s t u d e n t s i n t o i n s t r u c t i o n a l groups i m p l i e s t h a t t e a c h e r s a r e r e s p o n d i n g t o s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s amongst t h e i r p u p i l s . G iven t h a t c l a s s e s a r e composed of unique i n d i v i d u a l s , g r o u p i n g would appear t o i n v o l v e the s u p p r e s s i o n of some c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and the h i g h l i g h t i n g of o t h e r s . Presumably t e a c h e r s a t t e n d t o f e a t u r e s which are s a l i e n t f o r t h e i r purposes and suppress c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which a r e i r r e l e v a n t . The tendency t o d i s r e g a r d or o b l i t e r a t e d i f f e r e n c e s has been c a l l e d " l e v e l i n g " and the tendency t o respond e x c e s s i v e l y t o f i n e nuances or 93 s m a l l d i f f e r e n c e s has been c a l l e d " s h a r p e n i n g " . K l e i n (1951) argues t h a t " l e v e l i n g " and " s h a r p e n i n g " a r e p r i n c i p l e s which shape p e r c e p t i o n and are ways of r e s o l v i n g d i s e q u i l i b r i u m when the t a s k i s t o cope w i t h d i f f e r e n c e s . I f we a c c e p t t h a t the t a s k of the t e a c h e r i s t o d e a l w i t h the i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s p r e s e n t e d by a c l a s s of c h i l d r e n , the c o n s t r u c t s of " l e v e l i n g " and " s h a r p e n i n g " may prove t o be u s e f u l . Some t e a c h e r s may "sharpen" the d i f f e r e n c e s amongst p u p i l s and t h e r e f o r e perhaps move towards a more i n d i v i d u a l approach t o i n s t r u c t i o n , p r e f e r r i n g t o spend time w i t h i n d i v i d u a l s or s m a l l groups r a t h e r than spend time w i t h the whole c l a s s . Others may choose t o " l e v e l " or d i s r e g a r d the d i f f e r e n c e s , and tend t o d e a l w i t h the c l a s s as a whole. K l e i n (1951) suggests t h a t " l e v e l i n g " and " s h a r p e n i n g " a r e a d a p t a t i o n responses d e s i g n e d t o b r i n g about an e q u i l i b r i u m . I t i s proposed t h a t l e v e l i n g of d i f f e r e n c e s , i n the form of whole c l a s s t e a c h i n g , f u n c t i o n s t o e q u a l i z e c u r r i c u l u m c o v e r a g e . C o n v e r s e l y , s h a r p e n i n g of d i f f e r e n c e s , i n the form of g r o u p i n g , f u n c t i o n s t o e q u a l i z e performance r a t e s . I t was suggested t h a t t e a c h e r s group when time i s p l e n t i f u l and t e a c h the c l a s s as a whole when time i s l i m i t e d . In t h i s way o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n f u n c t i o n s t o m a i n t a i n an e q u i l i b r i u m between the time needs of s t u d e n t s and the d i c t a t e s of the c u r r i c u l u m . In e f f e c t , i t i s argued t h a t g r o u p i n g and whole c l a s s t e a c h i n g , a l t h o u g h governed by the d i f f e r e n t p e r c e p t u a l s t r a t e g i e s of l e v e l i n g and s h a r p e n i n g , a r e f u n c t i o n a l a l t e r n a t i v e s because the u n i n t e n d e d and 94 u n r e c o g n i z e d consequence, the maintenance of an e q u i l i b r i u m between the time needs of i n d i v i d u a l s and coverage of the c u r r i c u l u m , i s the same. Advantages and D i s a d v a n t a g e s . The major advantage of l e v e l i n g or d i s r e g a r d i n g d i f f e r e n c e s i s t h a t c u r r i c u l a r m a t e r i a l may be p r e s e n t e d t o a l l s t u d e n t s a t the same t i m e . T h i s a v o i d s the problem of the a l l o c a t i o n of time t o groups. When time i s l i m i t e d , t h i s would appear t o be an e f f i c i e n t way t o attempt t o cover the m a t e r i a l . A major d i s a d v a n t a g e of a c l a s s f u n c t i o n i n g i n u n i s o n i s the tendency t o move a t the speed of the s l o w e s t members. To the e x t e n t t h a t t e a c h e r s w a i t u n t i l a l l the s t u d e n t s have completed a s s i g n m e n t s b e f o r e they move on t o the next t o p i c , they may not c o v e r a l l the u n i t s i n the c u r r i c u l u m . Under t h i s regimen the c l a s s may be exposed t o a l i m i t e d number of o b j e c t i v e s . T h i s may r e s u l t i n reduced o p p o r t u n i t y t o l e a r n and boredom f o r some s t u d e n t s . S i m i l a r l y s h a r p e n i n g , or d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n amongst s t u d e n t s , has advantages and d i s a d v a n t a g e s . The f o r m a t i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n a l groups p r o v i d e s the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r s t u d e n t s t o p r o g r e s s a t d i f f e r e n t speeds. Presumably g r o u p i n g p e r m i t s t e a c h e r s t o attempt a b e t t e r match between the r a t e of p r e s e n t a t i o n of the m a t e r i a l and s t u d e n t time needs, a pr o c e d u r e which has the p o t e n t i a l t o a v o i d b o t h boredom f o r the f a s t e r and f r u s t r a t i o n f o r the s l o w e r . I t i s p r e c i s e l y t h i s s t r e n g t h of g r o u p i n g which i s a l s o i t s g r e a t e s t weakness. The presence of groups w i t h i n a c l a s s r o o m r e q u i r e s t h a t i n s t r u c t i o n a l time be d i v i d e d amongst the groups. The t e a c h e r 95 may f e e l h e r s e l f b e t t e r a b l e t o meet i n d i v i d u a l needs by g r o u p i n g , but may not have enough time t o spend w i t h each group. S h a r p e n i n g , or g r o u p i n g , may "ease" the problem of i n s t r u c t i o n t o some degree, but i n c r e a s e the d i f f i c u l t y of the a l l o c a t i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n a l t i m e . Coupled w i t h time a l l o c a t i o n d i f f i c u l t i e s , g r o u p i n g a l s o r e q u i r e s the management of independent seatwork a c t i v i t i e s c o n c u r r e n t l y w i t h the i n s t r u c t i o n of a group. T h i s form of o r g a n i z a t i o n l i k e l y makes demands on t e a c h e r management s k i l l s . A c c o r d i n g l y , i t i s proposed t h a t forms of o r g a n i z a t i o n which r e f l e c t s h a r p e n i n g and l e v e l i n g l i k e l y p r o v i d e o n l y p a r t i a l s o l u t i o n s t o the problem of d i f f e r e n t i a l time needs of s t u d e n t s . I t i s i n s t r u c t i v e a t t h i s time t o r e c a l l Goodlad's d i c t u m (1962) t h a t no system of o r g a n i z a t i o n can p r o v i d e f o r i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . G r o u p i n g may b e t t e r accommodate i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s , but a t the expense of time a l l o c a t i o n d i f f i c u l t i e s and i n c r e a s e d c l a s s r o o m management problems. That g r o u p i n g i s at best a compromise w i l l be demonstrated i n c h a p t e r f o u r . In s p i t e of e l a b o r a t e o r g a n i z a t i o n a l arrangements t o accommodate i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n performance r a t e s a l l of the t e a c h e r s e x p e r i e n c e d the problem of f a s t and slow w o r k e r s . Chapter f o u r i s concerned w i t h i n v e s t i g a t i n g i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n time needs as the s e were m a n i f e s t e d i n the f i v e c l a s s r o o m s . 96 CHAPTER 4 V a r i a t i o n i n Performance R a t e s : F a s t and Slow F i n i s h e r s In the w o r l d a t l a r g e v a r i a t i o n i n human performance i s an a c c e p t e d phenomenon. Nobel p r i z e s and Olympic g o l d medals i n d i c a t e not o n l y an awareness of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s but t h a t they a r e v a l u e d . In the w o r l d of the s c h o o l i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s a r e not always so h i g h l y t r e a s u r e d . The e x i s t e n c e of c h i l d r e n who d i f f e r i n t h e i r a b i l i t y t o l e a r n p r e s e n t s the t e a c h e r w i t h problems of a p r a c t i c a l n a t u r e : P r o b a b l y the s e v e r e s t h a n d i c a p t h a t c o n f r o n t s e d u c a t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y when i t i s c o n t i n u e d t o the secondary and h i g h e r l e v e l s , i s the d i f f i c u l t y of p r o v i d i n g m a t e r i a l s of i n s t r u c t i o n and methods of t e a c h i n g t h a t w i l l meet the v a r i e d a b i l i t i e s and p r o c l i v i t i e s of l a r g e u n s e l e c t e d groups ( B a g l e y , 1934, p. 110). One way e d u c a t o r s have attempted t o s o l v e t h i s problem i s thr o u g h t h e i r o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n . In the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r i t was argued t h a t o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n f u n c t i o n s , t o m a i n t a i n an e q u i l i b r i u m between the opp o s i n g demands of the time r e q u i r e m e n t s of i n d i v i d u a l s and of the c l a s s . In p a r t i c u l a r , i t was proposed t h a t the l a t e n t f u n c t i o n of g r o u p i n g was the e q u a l i z a t i o n of performance r a t e s . In t h i s c h a p t e r the e x t e n t of d i f f e r e n t i a l performance r a t e s i s i n v e s t i g a t e d . T r a d i t i o n a l l y , o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n f o c u s e d on the l e v e l of achievement, or amount of l e a r n i n g , d i s p l a y e d by s t u d e n t s . The emphasis on achievement s h o u l d not obscure the commonly h e l d n o t i o n t h a t amount of l e a r n i n g i s r e l a t e d t o 97 speed of l e a r n i n g . Thomas and Thomas (1965) i n d i s c u s s i n g the heterogeneous and homogeneous a b i l i t y g r o u p i n g debate s t a t e d what they b e l i e v e t o be a dominant v a l u e judgement i n N o r t h A m e r i c a : I t i s u n f a i r t o h o l d back the f a s t l e a r n e r s and a t the same time overwhelm the slow l e a r n e r s by c o n d u c t i n g h e t e r o g e n e o u s l y grouped c l a s s a t one average speed (p. 101). The tendency d u r i n g the f i r s t p a r t of t h i s c e n t u r y t o group t o g e t h e r c h i l d r e n of l i k e achievement l e v e l s r e f l e c t s t h i s p r e v a i l i n g b e l i e f t h a t h i g h a b i l i t y c h i l d r e n l e a r n q u i c k l y and low a b i l i t y c h i l d r e n l e a r n s l o w l y . The layman's i n t u i t i v e n o t i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between l e v e l of achievement and speed of l e a r n i n g i s c o n c e p t u a l l y c l a r i f i e d i n C a r r o l l ' s (1963) model of s c h o o l l e a r n i n g . T r a d i t i o n a l d i f f e r e n t i a l p s y c h o l o g y p o s t u l a t e s s t a b l e a b i l i t i e s or a p t i t u d e s which a r e thought t o be r e l a t e d t o s c h o o l achievement. C a r r o l l p r e s e n t e d an a l t e r n a t i v e v i e w . I n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s a r e c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as the time needed t o l e a r n t o a g i v e n c r i t e r i o n under c o n d i t i o n s of o p t i m a l i n s t r u c t i o n . Under c e t e r i s p a r i b u s c o n d i t i o n s , t h i s model p r e d i c t s t h a t s t u d e n t s h i g h i n a b i l i t y w i l l l e a r n i n l e s s t i m e , and c o n v e r s e l y , t h a t s t u d e n t s low i n a b i l i t y w i l l r e q u i r e more t i m e . I n d i v i d u a l D i f f e r e n c e s i n Time Needed t o L e a r n The c e n t r a l f e a t u r e of the C a r r o l l model i s t h a t s t u d e n t s have d i f f e r e n t i a l time needs. Most of the e v i d e n c e 98 c o n c e r n i n g v a r i a b i l i t y i n time needed t o l e a r n comes from s t u d i e s conducted w i t h i n the mastery l e a r n i n g t r a d i t i o n . C o n s e q u e n t l y , most of the s t u d i e s were concerned w i t h the magnitude of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n the amount of time r e q u i r e d t o a c h i e v e a c r i t e r i o n l e v e l of performance ( A r l i n , 1973; B l o c k , 1970; C a r r o l l and S p e a r i t t , 1970). The range i n t i m e - t o - c r i t e r i o n has been r e p o r t e d as 1 t o 3.4 ( B l o c k , 1970), 1 t o 4 ( C a r r o l l and S p e a r i t t , 1970), and 1 t o 7 ( A r l i n , 1973). Anderson (1976) c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h e s e s t u d i e s s u p p o r t C a r r o l l ' s (1970) e s t i m a t e t h a t the range i n t i m e - t o - c r i t e r i o n i n s c h o o l l e a r n i n g r e s e a r c h i s a p p r o x i m a t e l y one t o f i v e . C o n v e r s e l y , i f time i s h e l d c o n s t a n t , v a r i a t i o n i n amount l e a r n e d would be a n t i c i p a t e d . S t u d i e s i n computer a s s i s t e d i n s t r u c t i o n c o r r o b o r a t e e x t e n s i v e i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n amount l e a r n e d « when time i s h e l d c o n s t a n t . A t k i n s o n (1968) r e p o r t e d a d i f f e r e n c e s of over 4,000 problems between the f a s t e s t and the s l o w e s t s t u d e n t i n a grade one computer a s s i s t e d r e a d i n g program. A mastery approach t o l e a r n i n g emphasizes the s e t t i n g of f i x e d achievement g o a l s and a l l o w s l e a r n i n g time t o v a r y a c c o r d i n g l y . In more t r a d i t i o n a l programs of i n s t r u c t i o n s t u d e n t s a r e a l l o w e d a f i x e d amount of time t o l e a r n a p a r t i c u l a r u n i t or t a s k . In the absence of t e s t s t o d e t e r m i n e whether l e a r n i n g has ta k e n p l a c e , i t i s p r o b a b l y more a c c u r a t e t o c h a r a c t e r i z e t r a d i t i o n a l programs as the a l l o c a t i o n of time t o s t u d e n t s f o r p a r t i c u l a r t a s k s . In the day-to-day b u s i n e s s of r u n n i n g a c l a s s t e a c h e r s a l l o c a t e a c e r t a i n amount of time 99 (a l e s s o n or a p e r i o d ) i n which they would l i k e the s t u d e n t s t o complete an assignment. The l i k l i h o o d i s t h a t some c h i l d r e n w i l l f i n i s h more q u i c k l y than o t h e r s . A l t h o u g h d i f f e r e n c e s i n t i m e - t o - c r i t e r i o n may be of t h e o r e t i c a l importance i t i s the d i f f e r e n c e s between f a s t and slow f i n i s h e r s which i s of p r a c t i c a l c o n c e r n t o t e a c h e r s . The magnitude of t h e s e d i f f e r e n c e s i n performance r a t e and the p o s s i b l e i n f l u e n c e on c l a s s r o o m p r o c e s s e s a r e a r e a s t o be i n v e s t i g a t e d . Chapter f o u r i s concerned w i t h the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the phenomenon of d i f f e r e n t i a l performance r a t e s i n the f i v e grade t h r e e c l a s s r o o m s . The i n i t i a l t a s k undertaken was t o determine the e x t e n t of the problem of c h i l d r e n who f i n i s h e d the a s s i g n e d work i n l e s s time than t h a t a l l o c a t e d by the t e a c h e r . Performance r a t e s were s t u d i e d by means of a s t a n d a r d t a s k and by n a t u r a l i s t i c o b s e r v a t i o n s . The c h a p t e r opens w i t h the p r e s e n t a t i o n of e v i d e n c e which s u p p o r t s the e x i s t e n c e of d i f f e r e n t i a l performance r a t e s i n the f i v e c l a s s r o o m s . The second q u e s t i o n a d d r e s s e d i n t h i s c h a p t e r i s the magnitude of the d i f f e r e n c e i n performance r a t e s between f a s t and slow f i n i s h e r s . Next, a t t e n t i o n i s d i r e c t e d t o the responses of the t e a c h e r s t o the problem of d i f f e r e n t i a l performance r a t e s . F i n a l l y , the r a m i f i c a t i o n s of the s t r a t e g i e s adopted by the t e a c h e r s t o accommodate f a s t and slow workers a r e d i s c u s s e d , and i n t e r p r e t e d w i t h i n the framework of m a n i f e s t and l a t e n t f u n c t i o n s . 100 Perc e n t a g e of Time i n which F i n i s h i n g Occured In o r d e r t o e s t a b l i s h the e x i s t e n c e of d i f f e r e n c e s i n performance r a t e s w i t h i n the c l a s s e s , the f o l l o w i n g p r o c e d u r e was adopted. At the end of e v e r y f i v e m inutes the number of s t u d e n t s who had f i n i s h e d the a s s i g n e d t a s k was r e c o r d e d . S t u d e n t s were c o n s i d e r e d t o be f i n i s h e d the a s s i g n e d t a s k i f they handed i n the work, c l o s e d t h e i r books, or began an o t h e r a c t i v i t y . Teachers can h a r d l y be e x p e c t e d t o o r c h e s t r a t e a c t i v i t i e s so t h a t a l l c h i l d r e n f i n i s h a t p r e c i s e l y the same t i m e . Given the c o l l e c t i v e n a t u r e of c l a s s r o o m s i t seems r e a s o n a b l e t o expect t h a t c h i l d r e n w i l l complete work a t d i f f e r e n t t i m e s . I t was reasoned t h a t many c h i l d r e n f i n i s h i n g i n c o n c e r t i s u n l i k e l y t o be as p r o b l e m a t i c as c h i l d r e n f i n i s h i n g a t d i f f e r e n t t i m e s . Many c h i l d r e n f i n i s h i n g s i m u l t a n e o u s l y can be accommodated by the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the next a c t i v i t y . I t i s the management of c h i l d r e n f i n i s h i n g a s s i gnments a t d i f f e r e n t r a t e s which seems a more d i f f i c u l t p roblem. The amount of time i n which f i n i s h i n g o c c u r r e d p r o b a b l y r e f l e c t s the e x t e n t of the problem t o a b e t t e r degree than the a c t u a l number of c h i l d r e n who had f i n i s h e d a t any one t i m e . C o n s e q u e n t l y , the p e r c e n t a g e of time i n which any f i n i s h i n g o c c u r r e d i s r e p o r t e d . 101 Ta b l e 5 Per c e n t a g e of Time i n which F i n i s h i n g O c c u r r e d V i s i t C l a s s 1 2 3 4 5 2 B 30 0 0 0 33 A 60 0 0 0 60 3 B 0 24 18 0 0 A 8 1 1 0 0 44 4 B — 24 0 25 29 A 23 0 0 67 33 5 B 8 22 0 17 6 A 0 0 0 29 67 6 B 67 55 0 40 53 A 8 0 29 0 50 7 B 36 40 0 21 0 A - 0 0 17 0 8 B - 44 8 30 0 A - 0 1 7 — 1 4 9 B 80 29 8 0 0 A - 0 0 31 71 10 B - - 10 0 -A - - - -Note B i n d i c a t e s the percentage of time i n which f i n i s h i n g o c c u r r e d b e f o r e r e c e s s A i n d i c a t e s the per c e n t a g e of time i n which f i n i s h i n g o c c u r r e d a f t e r r e c e s s - i n d i c a t e s t h a t no o b s e r v a t i o n s were made Tab l e 5 i n d i c a t e s t h a t f i n i s h i n g o c c u r e d i n a l l of the c l a s s e s . The low amount of time i n which f i n i s h i n g o c c u r r e d i n C l a s s 3 i s somewhat m i s l e a d i n g ; t h e r e was no s e t number of assignments and the c h i l d r e n were "never f i n i s h e d " i n the eyes of the t e a c h e r . As soon as s t u d e n t s completed one p i e c e of work they began a n o t h e r , w i t h o u t w a i t i n g f o r the remainder of 1 02 the c l a s s . N e i t h e r a t e a c h e r - p a c e d whole c l a s s program ( C l a s s 4 ) , nor a s t u d e n t - p a c e d i n d i v i d u a l i z e d approach ( C l a s s 5 ) , a v o i d e d the problem of some c h i l d r e n f i n i s h i n g ahead of the o t h e r s . C l a s s 2 p e r m i t s an i n t e r e s t i n g c o m p a r i s o n . B e f o r e r e c e s s i n s t r u c t i o n was p r o v i d e d t o two r e a d i n g groups: w h i l e one group r e c e i v e d i n s t r u c t i o n the o t h e r c h i l d r e n d i d independent seatwork. A l t h o u g h b a s i c a l l y a t e a c h e r - p a c e d program, s t u d e n t p a c i n g of seatwork was e v i d e n t , and c h i l d r e n f i n i s h e d a t d i f f e r e n t t i m e s . A f t e r r e c e s s i n s t r u c t i o n was g i v e n t o the whole c l a s s . T h i s t e a c h e r u t i l i z e d s e v e r a l s t r a t e g i e s t o keep the c l a s s w o r k i n g a t the same speed ( t o be d i s c u s s e d i n c h a p t e r f i v e ) , and t h i s i s r e f l e c t e d i n the p e r c e n t a g e of time i n which a l l were w o r k i n g . The d a t a i n T a b l e 5 s u p p o r t the c o n t e n t i o n t h a t f i n i s h i n g i s a fundamental f e a t u r e of c l a s s r o o m l i f e . The e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t t e a c h e r s s h o u l d keep a l l s t u d e n t s f r u i t f u l l y o c c u p i e d seems u n r e a l i s t i c g i v e n the c o l l e c t i v e n a t u r e of s c h o o l i n g . I f the d i f f i c u l t y of k e e p i n g a l l s t u d e n t s o c c u p i e d i s acknowledged, i t seems r e a s o n a b l e t o ask t o what e x t e n t most s t u d e n t s are w o r k i n g . A f u r t h e r a n a l y s i s , e x c l u d i n g the f a s t e s t 25% of each c l a s s , was performed. The r e s u l t s a r e p r e s e n t e d i n T a b l e 6. The r e s u l t s show t h a t 75% of the c h i l d r e n i n each c l a s s were o c c u p i e d f o r most of the t i m e . A l t h o u g h f i n i s h i n g o c c u r e d i n a l l of the rooms, a r e a s o n a b l e c o n c l u s i o n i s t h a t the t e a c h e r s were adept a t k e e p i n g the m a j o r i t y of the c h i l d r e n o c c u p i e d . 103 T a b l e 6 Per c e n t a g e of Time i n which the F a s t e s t 25% were F i n i s h e d C l a s s V i s i t 1 2 3 4 5 2 B 1 0 0 0 0 0 A 0 0 0 0 0 3 B 0 1 2 9 0 0 A 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 B 0 1 2 0 1 3 29 A 0 0 0 0 33 5 B 0 6 0 1 7 0 A 0 0 0 7 27 6 B 60 18 0 1 3 0 A 8 0 29 0 0 7 B 9 0 0 1 4 0 A - 0 0 8 0 8 B - 44 0 10 0 A — 0 0 — 1 4 9 B 30 6 0 0 A — 0 0 0 43 10 B - - 10 0 -A — — — — — Note B i n d i c a t e s the p e r c e n t a g e of time i n which f i n i s h i n g o c c u r r e d b e f o r e r e c e s s A i n d i c a t e s the p e r c e n t a g e of time i n which f i n i s h i n g o c c u r r e d a f t e r r e c e s s - i n d i c a t e s t h a t no o b s e r v a t i o n s were made The above a n a l y s e s were conducted t o e s t a b l i s h t h a t f i n i s h i n g was a phenomenon of t h e s e c l a s s r o o m s . I t s h o u l d perhaps be noted t h a t a t t h i s s t a g e the q u a l i t y or u s e f u l n e s s of the a c t i v i t i e s p r o v i d e d f o r the c h i l d r e n has not been d i s c u s s e d ; t y p e s of a c t i v i t i e s w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n c h a p t e r e i g h t . However, i t seems r e a s o n a b l e t o p o s t u l a t e t h a t some 1 04 a c t i v i t i e s may f i l l up a g r e a t d e a l of time and keep s t u d e n t busy, but be of l i m i t e d e d u c a t i o n a l v a l u e . A l t e r n a t e l y , o t h e r a c t i v i t i e s may be e x t r e m e l y v a l u a b l e but be such t h a t d i f f e r e n t i a l f i n i s h i n g times a r e u n a v o i d a b l e . For example, Teacher 2 thought i t i m p o r t a n t t o p r o v i d e immediate feedback t o s t u d e n t s when they had w r i t t e n a s t o r y . T h i s n e c e s s i t a t e d f i n i s h e r s engaging i n an a l t e r n a t i v e a c t i v i t y w h i l e the t e a c h e r d i s c u s s e d each c h i l d ' s s t o r y i n d i v i d u a l l y . D u r i n