Multi -age learning reframes the traditional class structure to allow for a more personalized learning environment for students. In a traditional grade-level setting, students who are all of similar age are grouped together and are expected to follow a curriculum based on their age level, not necessarily their ability level. In contrast, a multi-age class structure groups students of a variety of ages together in a personalized learning environment where learning is seen on a continuum and not bound by age.
WHY are KYMS classrooms multi-age?
In an age-based setting, students who aren't yet on grade level often develop gaps in their learning because the teacher doesn't have the ability to back up to where they need to start and students who come above grade level are often not sufficiently challenged to progress because the teacher's success is measured based on percentage of students at grade level.Additionally, according to research, students in multiage classrooms show increased self-esteem, more cooperative behavior, better attitudes toward school in general, increased pro-social behavior, enriched personal relationships, increased personal responsibility, and a decline in discipline problems. These affective gains are due in part to the fact that competition is minimized as children progress at their own pace and individual differences are celebrated.Furthermore, older children in a multi-age classroom are encouraged to embrace their roles as leaders and mentors, and younger children tend to learn classroom expectations and culture far faster from their older peers than they do from adults. Teachers in a multi-age classroom are also far more likely to see each child as an individual with his or her own unique set of strengths and weaknesses.
HOW does it look at KYMS?
● Students are divided up into two single gender multi-age classes of sixth through eighth grade students.
● Teachers at KYMS thoughtfully arrange student groupings across and within grade levels based on student ability levels and areas of strength/challenge/interest. Groupings may vary based on skill, project, or activity.
● At any given time, students might be working with the teacher one-on-one or in a small group, while other students work independently or in collaborative groups. There are multiple teachers teaching different things and multiple students learning different things at the same time in the same space.
● Schedules and routines in the classroom clearly promote clear, predictable instructional patterns, and enhance student responsibility for their own learning. Students know what to work on, when it is due, and how to get help.
● While students may be learning the same general overall content or theme, the skills they learn are highly personalized to their level of learning, and often content is personalized by choice through research topics/ questions.