Alfred P. Wilson's scientific contributions

Publication (1)

Research does not support the popular practice of homogeneous ability grouping. Students are placed in groups through diverse and questionable methods. Teachers usually instruct lower ability groups at a low cognitive level and expect little of students in these groups; poor attitudes and achievement often result. (PP)


... Oakes has consistently shown how streaming can impact negatively not only on the learning opportunities provided for students considered low-ability but ultimately, and more important, on their life opportunities (Oakes, 1985(Oakes, , 1988(Oakes, , 1990Oakes et al., 1992). It has been shown such negative effects particularly applied to children from ethnic minority groups and those from low socioeconomic groups, who tended to be unequally distributed in the lower streams and to receive a 'dumbed down' curriculum, compared with middleclass students of similar ability (Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, 1989;Virginia State Department of Education, 1992;Jussim et al., 1996;Persell, 1977;Winn and Wilson, 1983). Despite the contentions about the negative effects of teacher expectations on student achievement, the practice of streaming continues in several secondary schools in New Zealand. ...