Mixed age classroom

Social interactions across a wide age range will bring diverse perspectives and experiences into the classroom environment.

Photo of Brian Cropper
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At the smallest level, providing students with multi grade level classess can accomplish the goals of bringing diverse voices into the classroom. We also thought that it was silly that our high school students take college level classes but college kids don't reciprocate. We imagined a set of upper level electives that were taught in conjunction with college professors and high school teachers to fill the needs of both high school and college students. The best collaborations would be experiential and leverage the diverse age groups to enhance the curriculum and classroom experience.

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Photo of Erin Quinn
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This is one of those holdovers from the industrial model of education that just seems silly. That the one way to sort kids is by their chronological age? Makes no sense. A small step in this direction might be to experiment with multi-age options/electives. I think that by doing that, you'd also end up with a whole bunch of super interesting courses that kids would love to take because if you, for example, had 30 kids across the whole school interested in, let's say... video game design... it wouldn't be possible to offer an option on video game design in a traditional set up, because maybe only 5 of those kids are in grade 7. But if you gather together all those video game fiends from across the whole SCHOOL, it WOULD be possible. You'd get more kids taking a class they're super interested in.

Photo of Kim Vinh
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My journalism elective is mixed grade, and the freshmen and sophomores love having older students to ask questions of, while the juniors and seniors really step up to mentor the younger students. A few other electives are mixed grade as well, like our mobile apps class. But core subject classes like English are never mixed grade. Does anyone here teach at a school with mixed grade core classes? And Brian, I'd love to hear more about the electives taught in conjunction with college professors and high school teachers!