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TracKing

  • By: Kevin G. Welner & R. Holly Yettick
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Different groups of students are often exposed to different curriculums. This entry concerns the process by which students are sorted into these groups, based on factors such as educators' judgments of those students' intellectual abilities, past achievement, or potential for future accomplishments. Once students are sorted, curriculum and instruction are differentiated between classrooms. Terms used to describe these sorting practices include ability grouping, tracking, leveling, streaming, and homogeneous grouping.

Some researchers and educators have drawn distinctions between the first two terms, usually labeling as tracked those systems that place students at a given level across subject areas and labeling as ability grouped those systems that group students class-by-class. But the day-to-day reality is virtually the same for most students in schools approximating either definition. In fact, ...

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