This article was in the latest Wilkie Way Newsletter
One would think that having a specialist subject teacher would raise student
However new research from Harvard University shows that students who were
taught by subject-specialists in English and maths saw their grades drop rather than
improve. Research results showed specialist primary teachers are 6 per cent less
effective than their non-specialist colleagues.
Roland Fryer, faculty director of Harvard University’s Education Innovation Laboratory,
conducted an experiment with 50 elementary schools in Houston, Texas. Schools
adjusted their timetables to allow for specialist teaching in maths, science, social
studies or reading. Specialist teachers saw pupils only for their allocated subjects.
However, rather than improving academic
outcomes in these subjects, specialist teaching
had a negative impact on pupils’ grades in mathsand reading. The research found that the effect of
such teachers went beyond a decrease in student
achievement, it also decreased student attendance
and increased behaviour problems.
The findings of the study were unexpected.
The research highlighted the importance of the teacher - pupil relationship and raised
the question of the wisdom of cross grouping students where they have a different
teacher for one subject.
Source: 3 June 2016 edition of TES
Do you cross group your students for mathematics?
If so why do you do it?
The ability range is there in your class across all subject areas so why make
mathematics a separate subject with no links to other areas of the curriculum?
NZ research has stated how important teacher - student relationships are for all
students and absolutely essential for Maori and Pasifica student.
A question for inquiry:
Do the students in your mathematics group and home class make more
progress than students in your math class but not in your home class?