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Tracking

Tracking refers to the practice of grouping students according to achievement levels, either between or within classrooms, for the purposes of instruction. The term ability grouping is frequently used in place of tracking, especially when discussing within-class tracking in elementary school, and British researchers often use the term streaming in place of tracking. The official rationale behind the practice of tracking is that by grouping students of similar achievement for instruction, classroom instruction will be more appropriately tailored to students' needs, and both high- and low-track students will experience more rapid achievement growth. However, research shows that, in reality, tracking tends to increase educational inequality, with low-track students learning less and high-track students learning more than students in regular (middle) or untracked classrooms. This entry ...

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