A MULTIAGE class is formed by deliberately placing students together with differences in age and abilities in order to facilitate the overall development of each child within a family-like community of learners. Students stay with the same teacher for more than one year, when new younger students join the class. The teacher facilitates student learning according to developmental stages rather than chronological ages. Students are encouraged to take more initiative and responsibility in their learning and to become self-advocates.
Often, any class comprised of more than one age or grade level is mistaken as a multiage class when in fact, it may be a split class or a combined class; put together as a temporary measure to solve number bulges in the school population or to deal with other imbalances of student enrollment. Simply creating a class of students from more than one grade level and calling it multiage is not what is meant by multiage philosophy.
• Students are taught and assessed according to developmental stages – the child’s individual needs.
• Students stay with the same teacher for two years
• The intention in a multiage classroom is for students of different ages and grade levels to be socially and academically integrated into a single learning community.
• Students are taught and assessed according to grade designation.
• Specific graded groups covering a grade designated curriculum.
• Teachers juggle multiple curriculum requirements in the one year
• Each grade level group maintains its distinct identity
Benefits of Multi-Age Education
Benefits for Students
Benefits for Parents
Benefits for Educators
• Positive, nurturing environment
• Peer support, mentoring
• Opportunities for leadership
• Small group skill instruction
• Longer time with teacher
• Increased self-esteem, confidence
• Less worry about moving to a new classroom at the beginning of each school year as classroom routines and teacher expectations are already known
• Stronger relationship with teacher
• Comfort level increase for both you and your child at the beginning of the school year when you know the teacher, the expectations and the classroom routines
• More opportunities to take an active role in child's education
• Child is more positive about school
• Child is given appropriate support/challenge depending on their individual achievement level
• Child learns to self-initiate
• Stronger relationship with students and parents
• Better able to address individual student needs
• Longer time to monitor students to recognize effectiveness of teaching
• More stimulating, creative work environment
• Students have more positive attitudes about school, increase in attendance and a decrease in disruptive behaviour
• All students have a chance to assume leadership roles in the areas in which they excel regardless of age
• The older, more knowledgeable students who may be socially/emotionally young an opportunity to socialize with younger class members
• Students develop leadership skills, nurturing behaviours and a greater sense of community
• More accepting of individual differences