Educational Consulting – Multiage Education

Workshops for Teachers and Administrators (available by zoom)

MULTIAGE EDUCATION

(also called Ungraded Classrooms; Family Grouping, Vertical Grouping)

Multiage education is the deliberate grouping of students in K-8 classrooms across ages and grade levels. For example, a multiage primary classroom might include 25 kindergarten and first grade students. Or, perhaps a total of of 25 students grades K-3. A multiage intermediate classrooms could be 25 or so students in grades 3-5, or 4-6, depending on the structure of the school district. Students are NOT grouped by ability (as in all weak students, or all academically gifted students). Whatever the configuration, students are treated as one class. Not a combination class (of say grades 2 and 3 where half students are in second grade, half are in third grade, and teaching is partitioned between the two groups.

TOPICS SPECIFIC TO MULTIAGE EDUCATION

Online workshops can be tailored to the needs of a school or district. Topics might include:

A. Planning for multiage classrooms. How do you get started? How do you get teachers on board? Informing parents of proposed changes.

B. Addressing multiage classrooms with parents and other stakeholders. Changes go better when there are no surprises. How can parents get on board with changing the structure and grouping of students?

C. How to create the profile of a multiage classroom (especially for administrators). Which kids should go into a multiage class? Is it better for some students than others? What should the profile of the class roster look like?

D. Planning the curriculum for multiage classrooms. In a multiage setting, some things are done differently. Whereas reading and math may be organized in flexible groups, content are teaching is generally taught across the grade levels. Many teachers will share that they already have many different levels of students in their classrooms. Adjusting curriculum and expectations to natural student variation is already in the toolkit of many teachers. In these cases, the transition to multiage teaching can feel very natural.

E. Collecting data to show effective teaching and learning in multiage classrooms. It’s a great idea when implementing anything new to collect data to be able to demonstrate to administrators, parents, and the community that the school programs are effective. Both formal and informal data can be very illuminating with innovations – including collecting information from parents of students in the multiage classrooms.

INSTRUCTOR

Dr. Wendy C. Kasten is Professor Emerita from Kent State University, School of Teaching, Learning, & Curriculum Studies in Literacy education. She is co-author of:

Kasten, W.C. & Clarke, Barbara K. (1993), The Multi-age Classroom: A Family of Learners. Katonah, NY: Richard C. Owen Publishers.

This slim volume addresses the concerns of teachers and parents in a question and answer format.

Kasten W.C. & Lolli, E.M. (1998). Implementing Multiage Education: A Practical Guide. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers.

Co-authored with administrator Dr. Elizabeth Lolli (later superintendent of several different districts in Ohio), this book presents the nuts and bolts of implementing multiage classrooms starting with planning, covering curriculum and assessment.

Kasten, W.C. & Lolli, E.M. (1998). Primary Voices 6(2). Literacy in Multiage Classrooms.

This themed issue of this publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) includes articles by the editors, and veteran multiage teachers.

Dr. Kasten’s Ph.D. is from the University of Arizona, Tucson, in “Language and Literacy.” She has taught at the University of Arizona, The University of Maine, The University of South Florida, Deakin University (Australia) and Kent State University, from which she retired with Emerita status. Dr. Kasten is the recipient of two teaching awards.

Kasten has worked with schools and teachers in Ohio, Wisconsin, Manitoba, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Massachusetts, Georgia, Alaska, and countries including The Bahamas, Turkey, Taiwan, China, Kenya, and India. She has mentored graduate students in education from Malaysia, Ecuador, Jordan, Armenia, Libya, Turkey, The Phillipines, Lebanon, Egypt, Bangladesh, Brazil, Morocco, South Africa, and Indonesia.

PRICES

Different districts have varying levels of resources for Professional Development. When I lived in Ohio (left in 2013) the going rate for a full day (6 hours) for a Full Professor was $2,000. However, that was before Covid. And using online resources like Zoom makes professional development more accessible and possibly cheaper.

All prices are negotiable. The intent is to arrive at a fair figure that is affordable for the school or district.

CONTACT

Dr. Kasten can be reached through this website, or wkasten@kent.edu.