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close this bookMulti-grade Teaching - A Review of Research and Practice - Education Research Paper No. 12 (DFID, 1994, 63 p.)
close this folderChapter 4 - Implications for the practice of multi-grade teaching and further research
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentNational level
View the documentRegional/district level
View the documentTeacher/classroom level

National level

1. What is the extent of multi-grade teaching in the country? In what types of schools, and in what locations, is it prevalent?

2. Do the enrolment projections and costs of provision suggest that multi-grade teaching will continue in many schools?

3. What are the qualifications and educational backgrounds of the teachers who teach in multi-grade settings? What are the conditions under which they work?

4. Do nationally-prescribed pre-and in-service teacher training programmes (both face-to-face and distance) include content on effective teaching in multi-grade settings? Do they include content on effective teaching more generally eg self-study, peer learning, planning and organisation, alternative ways of grouping students for learning assessment skills?

5. Is multi-grade teaching a recognised field of specialisation in teacher training institutes?

6. Is there provision in nationally prescribed teacher training curricula for the practice as well as the theory of teaching in multi-grade settings? Are there model schools practising multi-grade teaching?

7. Have multi-grade techniques been considered for use in mono-grade settings?

8. Are there material and professional incentives for teachers in multi-grade schools in difficult locations? (eg salary supplements, housing, training opportunities, promotion prospects?)

9. Have attempts been made to structure the content of the national curriculum and all associated curriculum materials (eg syllabi, teachers guides) in a way that supports multi-grade teaching (eg integrated subject matter, i.e. teaching the same subject at different conceptual levels; or a modular curriculum, i.e. allowing the student to proceed at his her own pace through learning modules)? Have such attempts attracted serious support from national-level research and curriculum institutions over a period of time?

10. Have self-study materials been developed for extensive parts of the curriculum? Do these incorporate self-correction and feedback? From which age/grade can they be used? Could textbooks be designed to support self-study? Are textbooks and self-study materials available to students in adequate numbers?

11. Could national-level learning assessment schemes (eg minimum levels of learning (MLL), minimum levels of competency (MLC)) be used to support the development and structure of curriculum suitable for the multi-grade setting? Do such schemes have implications also for the mono-grade classroom?

12. Have or could adequate resources been allocated to libraries and other materials necessary to support self-leaning?

13. Is it practical/feasible to use radio/TV in support of the multi-grade teacher, both in the classroom and in the community i.e as a medium for student learning in the classroom, and as a means of mobilising community support for this way of organising schools and classrooms?

14. Is there an adequate budgetary commitment from government to support multi-grade schools?

15. Is there an understanding among national-level professionals and administrators of the cognitive and non-cognitive benefits of multi-grade teaching? Does more research need to be conducted?

16. Is there an effective mechanism for the regular supervision, monitoring and evaluation of multi-grade schools? Are supervisors supported in their work through training and through materials developed by/with them? Are supervisors expected to "police" as well as to "professionally guide" principals and teachers? If so, how are they expected to handle the conflicts inherent in the duality of the role?

17. What are the recruitment criteria used to select supervisors of multi-grade schools? Do they have any experience of teaching at the primary level, let alone multi-grade primary? How might they gain this experience? What steps might be taken to promote into multi-grade supervisory positions those teachers who have demonstrated prowess in multi-grade teaching?