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Necciai, Rodney (2014) IMPLEMENTATION OF TOTAL SCHOOL CLUSTER GROUPING: A CASE STUDY. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation was designed and conducted to examine perception of classroom grouping practices in elementary schools. It includes a comprehensive review of literature related to grade-level and within-class grouping practices over the past thirty years in American schools. A focus was gleaned from the literature that led to the design of a study measuring staff perception of implementation of the Total School Cluster Grouping model in three schools within the same urban school district. Teachers were surveyed and offered an opportunity to further inform the study by participating in follow-up interviews. Administrators were interviewed and also asked to provide professional development agendas, minutes, and examples of best practices related to implementation and maintenance of the model for analysis within this study.
The Total School Cluster Grouping model entails a specific method of grouping children into classrooms based on a combination of achievement and ability levels. It involves detailed analysis of all available student data in order to place students into classroom groups that can be leveraged to best meet all student needs. It was originally designed as a way to better serve the needs of gifted and talented learners, but has subsequently been found to have positive effects on students of all abilities.
Results from this study show that the staff solicited to participate believe that overall, the model has helped them to better serve the needs of their students. They utilize flexible grouping within their classrooms more and feel more confident analyzing data to place students into their classrooms. The schools that have focused on building parental understanding of the model have been able to maintain parental support and are confident that support will continue over time.
Overall, teachers feel better able to meet student needs and are identifying more students for placement into high achievement groups since inception of the model, though there was considerable variation across sites. Most respondents expressed an opinion that more professional development, specifically related to differentiated instruction and curriculum compacting, would ensure continued success over time.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBickel, Williambickel@pitt.eduBICKEL
Committee MemberTananis, Cynthiatananis@pitt.eduTANANIS
Committee MemberKerr, Mary Margaretmmkerr@pitt.eduMMKERR
Committee MemberRudiak,
Date: 15 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 19 November 2013
Approval Date: 15 January 2014
Submission Date: 9 December 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 190
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Total School Cluster Grouping, flexible grouping, classroom grouping, differentiated instruction
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 23:10
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:16


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