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Title: Parents' Perceptions of and Concerns About Composite Classes
Contributor(s): Cornish, Linley  (author)orcid ; Graham, Lorraine (supervisor); Phan, Huy  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2012
Copyright Date: 2011
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: In developed countries, the most common pattern of classroom organisation is the single-grade class, where students of a similar age study a syllabus specifically written for their grade. A significant minority of classes, however, have always been mixed-grade, where students from two or more different grades are taught together in the same classroom by the same teacher. In Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, in 2011, 95% of government primary schools have at least one mixed-grade class. Such mixed-grade classes exist in a number of different forms and are distinguished from each other by a variety of characteristics, such as whether the class is temporary or permanent, whether it is formed by choice or necessity, whether it is the same as or different from other classes in the school, and whether students' learning is based on their age/grade or by their stage of development and individual learning needs. This study was carried out in relation to one type of mixed-grade class, namely, the composite class. Composite classes are temporary, usually two-grade, classes. They are most commonly found in urban or suburban schools and they exist alongside the much larger number of single-grade classes in a school. They are formed by necessity, as a result of (i) uneven grade enrolments leading to some students being "left over" when the single-grade classes are formed to capacity, and (ii) fixed funding models that preclude the hiring of more teachers and the formation of smaller classes. Students normally return to a single-grade class the following year, thus composite-class teachers need to match what they teach the different grades in their class to what the other teachers in the school are teaching their single-grade students. These constraints mean the workload of a composite-class teacher is greater because of having to prepare lessons based on at least two different syllabi. Composite classes can therefore be conceived of as a temporary arrangement of two (or more) "classes within a class".
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390402 Education assessment and evaluation
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified
Rights Statement: Copyright 2011 - Linley Cornish
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Appears in Collections:School of Education
Thesis Doctoral

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