Pupils' perceptions of setting and beyond: a response to Hallam and Ireson

Abraham, John (2008) Pupils' perceptions of setting and beyond: a response to Hallam and Ireson. British Educational Research Journal, 34 (6). pp. 855-863. ISSN 14693518

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This article examines the important data on pupils' perceptions of setting and mixed-ability classes in 45 comprehensive schools in England collected by Hallam and Ireson. It is argued that the finding that most pupils prefer setting to mixed-ability classes requires closer scrutiny and more careful interpretation. The conclusion that such preferences are because setting matches pupils' needs to their abilities is not compelling. Pupils' perceptions may be a product of transmitted ideology and wider cultural and organisational factors inside and outside school. Moreover, it is not clear what the implications of Hallam and Ireson's data on mixed-ability classes are for mixed-ability teaching. While, Hallam and Ireson propose more differentiated teaching and learning in mixed-ability classes, this article contends that their data could be interpreted to imply just the opposite. Finally, the implications of their data for the debate about the nature of comprehensive education in Britain are considered.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: John Abraham
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:22
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2012 15:17
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25657
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