Date of Award

Fall 12-12-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership for Learning Dissertations


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. Albert Jimenez

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Nicholas Glegorne

Second Committee Member

Dr. David Buckman


Educators know children need to learn at a level that is appropriately challenging for them. If the material is too difficult, the children will often feel defeated and stop trying. If the material is too easy, the children will often lose interest and not achieve their potential. Educators also know children learn at different speeds and have different abilities, even children who are the same age. Despite knowing this, the traditional educational model is designed to group children based solely on age and the expectation is for the teacher to differentiate to meet the needs of each individual child in the classroom.

Some schools are adopting different grouping models and are grouping children based on ability or achievement rather than age. These grouping models need to be examined to learn if they provide a better alternative to grouping and allow for greater student success. One of the common objections to a multiage ability grouping model is the effect it will have on the children when they are grouped with children who are older or younger than themselves. This qualitative case study was designed to learn about the effect multiage ability grouping had on the self-esteem of nine children in an independent school designed for students with dyslexia.

The nine students and one of each of their parents were interviewed during the students’ first year in a multiage ability grouped classroom. From the responses, eight themes were identified: students felt the work was easier, students volunteered more answers, students had a more positive attitude toward school and schoolwork, multiage grouping encouraged multiage relationships, multiage grouping normalized, the size of the classes, ability grouping, and students showed an increase in confidence and self-esteem.

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