Immanuel Lutheran School uses a multi-graded system in its school. For most families, multi-grade classrooms are a new method, and can seem difficult to understand. Multi-grade classrooms provide many benefits for our students, teachers, and families. Here are a list of benefits:
- Affective growth-needs are better met when placed in this environment.
- Better attitude toward school.
- Better self-concept, feelings of success, perceptions of parent approval.
- Benefit of lengthened teacher-child relationships.
- Children of any age feel comfortable giving help in areas in which they have expertise to children of any age in the classroom.
- Children of one age do not dominate the teacher’s attention.
- Younger children in multi-age groups strive to attain the academic levels they see the older children actually achieving.
- Benefit to slow learners.
- One large family growing together.
- Far more subject matter to capture the imagination and interest of children.
- Children have the benefit of hearing again what was taught to them in previous grades (incidental learning).
- Positive effects on social behavior:
- Increased ability and security.
- Increased socialization skills.
- Mutual aid given to one another.
- Leadership skills.
- Role modeling.
- Cross-age verbal and non-verbal interactions.
- Cross-age tutoring.
- In the area of achievement:
- Usually the thought is that achievement will decline BUT…
- The lower grade level in a multi-graded classroom achieves above its grade level in academics.
- There is benefit to children with special needs.
- Children listen and absorb knowledge which they may never hear in a single grade classroom.
- Children listen and absorb knowledge that interests them and prepares them for what lies ahead.
- Children have the benefit of hearing again what had been previously taught to them in previous grades.
Dr. Cynthia Whaley, MLC, 1992