Streaming and Tracking in Basic Education
|Above copied from Manila Science High School|
Chiu, M. M., Chow, B. W.-Y., & Joh, S. W. (2017, March 6). Streaming, Tracking and Reading Achievement: A Multilevel Analysis of Students in 40 Countries. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000188
Grouping similar students together within schools (streaming) or classrooms (tracking) based on past literacy skills (reported by parents), family socioeconomic status (SES) or reading attitudes might affect their reading achievement. Our multilevel analysis of the reading tests of 208,057 fourth-grade students across 40 countries, and their parents’, teachers’, principals’, and their survey responses yielded the following results. Streaming was linked to higher reading achievement (consistent with customized instruction), but tracking was linked to lower reading achievement (consistent with more help opportunities). Students had higher reading achievement when classmates had stronger past literacy skills (suggesting sharing ideas) or extremely poor ones (help opportunities). Also, when classmates have higher family SES, students had higher reading achievement (suggesting sharing resources), with diminishing marginal returns. When classmates’ family SES differed more (more diversity), students with greater past literacy skills had higher reading achievement (Matthew effect). Lastly, when classmates had better reading attitudes, students with lower past literacy skills showed higher reading achievement (modeling, norms). When classmates’ reading attitudes differed more, students had higher reading achievement (contrasting cases), although extreme differences weakened this link (less homophily). These results suggest that streaming across schools and mixing of students within classrooms (by past achievement, family SES and reading attitudes) are linked to overall reading achievement.At least, for reading achievement, it appears that streaming across schools is beneficial, but students need to be mixed within classrooms. Thus, based on this study, the idea of having Manila Science High School as a selective school is good, but the practice of having star sections in each class is not. In addition, the authors conclude, "These results also suggest avoiding extremes, where severe school streaming reduces help opportunities and sharp differences among classmates prevent customized instruction by higher achieving students."
Since I left the Philippines, there are now numerous science high schools in the country. Based on the TIMSS Advanced 2008 International Benchmarks of Mathematics, these schools are not performing well:
|Above table copied from PERFORMANCE OF PHILIPPINE HIGH SCHOOLS WITH SPECIAL CURRICULUM IN THE 2008 TRENDS IN INTERNTIONAL MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE STUDY (TIMSS-Advanced)|
- Grade 8: Biology, Theoretic Research, Physical Sciences (Chemistry and Physics), Geometry and Intermediate Algebra;
- Grade 9: General Chemistry, Biotechnology & Research, Physics and Advanced Algebra;
- Grade 10, Introductory College Physics, Analytic Geometry and Introductory Calculus as well as Advanced Chemistry and Research.
|Above copied from the Inquirer|