Mix of students lifts class work

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 March, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 March, 1997, 12:00am

A classroom containing pupils at different levels of education can increase achievement in a highly competitive school system like that of Hong Kong.

Research by Professor Mel Ainscow of the University of Manchester revealed that teaching became more effective in such an environment.

He presented the results of his study at a lecture at the University of Hong Kong.

He said his findings came from a series of international studies on how classrooms could be developed to create conditions conducive to successful learning by all pupils.

'They [the British] bring in some extremely disabled children to a regular class,' he said.

It means teachers have to co-operate closely among each other, especially with teacher assistants of the disabled children.

It might be an extreme case, said the professor, but bringing in students from various levels could raise the overall standard by posing more challenges for them.

Professor Ainscow is also the director of a UNESCO project which has set up educational programmes in 50 countries.

Modern life is hooked on technology for everything, including education. But he advised educationalists to make the most of other resources to get pupils involved.

'There are two major resources to stimulate studying - teachers themselves and children's resources. These include child-to-child support and teacher-to-teacher support.

'It is free. We don't need to buy it.

'Plan with the whole class in mind,' he said, adding that teaching should be team work and not something which was done in isolation.

'Why should teaching be done by one teacher? There are lots of interactive ways outside the usual confined approach,' he said.