The Value of Mixed-Age Classrooms

June 16, 2016

  • Learning from each other - Older students learn compassion, empathy, and leadership from interacting with their younger peers. Younger students have models for more mature play and classroom behavior.

  • Continuity of care - Students stay with the same teacher for several years, allowing for stronger student-teacher bonds. Teachers come to know each student's needs and learning habits on a deeper level.

  • Parent-teacher relationships - Rather than meeting a new teacher every year, families get to know their teachers on a more personal level. These relationships facilitate better childcare, and create the neighborly bonds that characterize New Orleans.

  • A family-like environment - Grouping children by age is a result of pushing the elementary school model into younger and younger ages. Mixed-ages mimic the home environment, a more age-appropriate model for early childhood.

  • Students learn at their own pace - In same-age classrooms, children are often expected to all be in the same place in their development and learning. Mixed-age classrooms help teachers to view students as individuals and support learning at their own pace.

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