Children’s learning behaviour when grouped by attainment: Investigating a planned behaviour approach
The influence of homogeneous grouping on pupils’ self-perceive learning behaviour in a Year 4 mathematics class was investigated, using the planned behaviour framework as a guide. The small-scale study shows differences in pupils’ self-assessed learning behaviour, such that the behaviour intent, social normative beliefs, attitudes and perceived behaviour control of students in lower-attaining groups are less favourable in comparison to groups of higher-attaining students. Pupils in lower-attaining groups rated themselves as less confident in their ability; fear to show incompetence in the classroom; find learning mathematics less valuable; and are less resilient than their peers when faced with a challenge. The author does not condemn the usage of homogeneous grouping but proposes that attainment grouping depends on: the subject being taught; the adult to student ratio; the complexity of the concept being taught and the diversity within the class. The results and practical implications are discussed below.