In a multiage class, the students are taught and assessed according to developmental stages, rather than age or grade designation.
Multiage teachers focus instruction on students’ learning needs rather than on grade-level curriculum. Students have the advantage of continuous learning.
Curriculum is presented through in-depth topics, allowing students to explore specific aspects that interest them. Students with independent work habits are given some freedom to develop individual and group projects during class time. Older children are given ample opportunity for leadership roles.
Children of different ages have the opportunity to get to know older children in the safe environment of their classroom, they are encouraged to develop open, trusting interaction with each other. Older children often take on a role of ‘protector’ and mentor.
In a nurturing learning environment such as multiage, competition is not imposed; but is offered as challenges for students to choose (when they feel ready). Through experiences of hard work and successful challenges, children can develop a positive perception about their ability to reach a goal.
Benefits for students
• Positive, nurturing environment
• Peer support, mentoring
• Opportunities for leadership
• Individual pace for learning
• Small group skill instruction
• Longer time with teacher
• Increased self-esteem, confidence
Benefits for parents
• Strong relationship with teacher
• Maximum opportunities to take an active role in child’s education
• Child is positive about school
• Child is given appropriate support/challenge depending on their individual achievement level
• Child learns to be pro-social, independent and responsible
• Child learns to self initiate