An integral part of routine schooling is the arrangement of pupils into classes and/or groups to enable effective teaching and learning to take place. However, any form of differentiation can have both negative and positive consequences. See for example:
- Ireson, J. and Hallam, S. (2001) Ability Grouping in Education, London: Paul Chapman. (Reading 15.4)
- Hart, S., Dixon, A., Drummond, M. J. & McIntyre, D. (2004) Learning without Limits. Maidenhead: Open University Press. (Reading 1.4)
When learners share a similar position in relationship to school success or failure, and regularly come together as a group, the initial differentiation is often reinforced. This process of ‘polarisation’ through peer culture is discussed in:
- Pollard, A. (1987) Social differentiation in primary schools, Cambridge Journal of Education, 17, 3, 158-61. (Reading 15.2)
- Lacey, C. (1970) Hightown Grammar: The School as a Social System. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
- Jackson, B. (2011) Streaming: An Education System in Miniature, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- Pollard, A. (1985) Social World of the Primary School, London: Cassell.
- Gillborn, D. and Youdell, D. (2000) Rationing Education. Buckingham: Open University Press.
- Swann, M., Peacock, A., Hart, S. and Drummond MJ. (2012) Creating Learning Without Limits. Maidenhead, Open University Press.