Benefits of Mixed Ages
BENEFITS OF MIXED AGES
Our view is that mixed-age grouping in classes that employ an informal intellectually oriented curriculum can minimize the pitfalls of both kinds of segregation: by age and by readiness.
- Mixed-age grouping resembles family and neighborhood groupings, which throughout human history have informally provided much of children's socialization and education.
- In a mixed-age classroom, leadership and pro-social behaviors have been observed to increase.
- Children whose knowledge or abilities are similar but not identical stimulate each other's thinking and cognitive growth.
- Research on peer tutoring and cooperative learning indicates that interaction between less able and more able children ("novices" and "experts") benefits all individuals, both academic and socially.
- Mixed-age grouping relaxes the rigid, lock-step curriculum with its age-graded expectations, which are inappropriate for a large proportion of children.
- Mixed-age grouping has been used successfully with young children in the United States, Britain and Sweden.
Pine Hill Country Day School has had a multi-age group of children for more than 38 years! We have seen the benefits over and over. Teachers and principals from area schools have told us continually that when they get a Pine Hill student for Kindergarten or First/Second Grade, that child is more than ready!