My mother was a teacher in rural Michigan from the 1930s through the 1960s. She taught in multi-grade classrooms throughout her career. In fact, in the 1930s she taught in one-room schools, grades one through eight.

She felt the key to effective teaching was class size, not number of grades in the class. The number of students she had in a given year usually numbered about 25. When the number of students exceeded 30, she felt she couldn’t do a good job.

I was in multi-grade classrooms from grades one through six. I never thought it hindered my academic achievement (M.A., University of Michigan, 1973). Of course, my parents were very supportive of my educational endeavors — in particular my mother.

I can understand why parents who were never exposed to multi-grade classrooms might be concerned. It is the Board of Education’s responsibility to reasonably and rationally allay those fears.

For what it’s worth, I am writing to reassure you, it’s not a big deal.

Clifford Cool


(3) comments


I agree that class size is probably bigger concern than occasionally combining grades. For 6th grade, I was in a combined 5th and 6th grade class. We had top students from both grades. My twin brother was in a regular classroom. I ended up a better student than my brother.


While colloquial accounts are interesting, as the unexceptional student in a family of exceptional students, I believe it's necesary to say that when the qualities a good student needs are hard-wired, they are the first to attribute success to other factors. You all studied, retained, regurgitated and did far more than occupy space.


DW, Hello, I was not writing a dissertation - just giving an opinion. Please keep your damage to yourself.

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