MIXED-AGE LEARNING MODEL
Role: Lead Teacher
Research Type: Educational Action Research
Goal: Construct a mixed-age learning model to ameliorate the problem of fewer students and teachers in deprived areas
There were fewer and fewer students in the rural areas in Taiwan. To prepare for the possible future situation of fewer assigned teachers in rural schools, the local government decided to promote mixed-age teaching to cut down the need for teachers.
I took the lead in the research of the mixed-age learning model.
I adopted an action research approach to conduct this educational innovation with other English teachers at school. It was an iterative process to identify the problems, design models, implement, analyse, and modify. The whole research process was also supervised by a professor at National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan.
I incorporated YouTube videos and literary apps to make learning more understandable and interesting, hence facilitating children's learning.
The established learning model in the mixed-age classrooms was
Motivation: To make children interested in today's topic
Demonstration: Demonstrate the learning topic
Pair practice: Students are grouped in small pairs to practice and discuss today's topic
Meaningful Performance: Students are encouraged to perform their results in a meaningful way, such as a play, a game, or a read-aloud session
Scaffolding and social support are important.
Teachers should create activities and opportunities that allow competent children to support less competent children under the prerequisite that the learning environment is positive, friendly, and supportive.
It is important to change the pairing or grouping system from time to time to establish a dynamically collaborative learning spirit.
Incorporation of children's media and technologies into formal curriculums and subjects can to motivate children's learning.
Media and technologies have the ability to provide a variety of experiences and cater to different interests. They also gives flexibility for personalized assignment according to individual's level.
Children were inspired to learn English and improved their English ability. They (even those with learning difficulties) could read picture books individually and succeed in the regional English examination.
I was invited to advocate the research findings at teacher professional development conferences in the county.