Date of Award

5-1-2000

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. William Denton

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine factors that have influenced decisions made by principals and teachers to initiate multi-age classrooms in the United States. A descriptive research design was utilized for the purpose of this study. Principals and teachers who had implemented multi-age programs were mailed a questionnaire. Three hundred fifty-seven principals and teachers responded.

Data were collected and analyzed to determine if principals and teachers differed in their perception of the factors that may have influenced the selection of multi-age classrooms. Five statistical tests were used to evaluate the hypotheses. An alpha level of .05 was used for hypothesis testing. Statistical analyses revealed that principals and teachers held the same level of perception about the selection factors of retention, student achievement, social development and developmentally appropriate practices, regardless of their school size or its location. Principals and teachers rated each selection factor as important; however, social development and developmentally appropriate practices were rated higher than retention and academic achievement.

Principals and teachers should not expect this organizational and structural method alone to solve all of the educational problems of today. The practice of multi-age grouping must be thoroughly researched along with developmentally appropriate practices and the effects of retention on student achievement and social development.

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