Collaboration in a multiage school

Year: 1996

Author: Lowe, Kaye

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The key to successful teaching and learning in a multiage school is the collaboration that exists between staff and staff, student and student and staff and student. This study explores how students' potential is extended in a context that values independence and social competence. Students and teachers negotiate curriculum and share an enthusiasm for learning. The value of communication, as a tool for thinking and learning, is pivotal to all that happens in this unique setting. The environment supports risk taking and challenges students to become decision makers and instigators of their own learning. Students negotiate the curriculum to suit their developmental levels and interests. Teachers work closely with students, demonstrating, guiding and encouraging individual efforts.

This study is based on twelve case studies of students in a multiage school. Through these case studies, the student's perspective on what it means to be a learner in a multiage classrooms is explored. In addition, teachers are interviewed and group discussions transcribed to reveal the philosophical base on which this community of learners operate and grow together.