Key Words & Ideas:
Multi –grade teaching is a term used to describe the teaching in primary education of children from a number of grades usually in every subject and at each grade level. ’Multi’ means plenty, many or more than one. The word ‘grade’ means level. Multi-grade, therefore means many grades.
Multi-grade teaching involves the teaching of children from two or more grade levels simultaneously in one classroom or different classroom. This requires considerable preparation. Depending on the quality of teachers’ workbooks and worksheets, a teacher may be with grade one for ten minutes, away with grade three for fifteen minutes and then absent from that class for thirty minutes. Such teaching requires very sound preparation especially considering the time spent by students in independent study.
Challenges in Multi- Grade Teaching:
1. An average primary school teacher is ill equipped to handle a multi-grade classroom situation.
2. The nature of the curriculum and textbooks, which are prepared almost entirely in a mono-grade context create further problems.
3. One of the greatest difficulties in promoting multi-grade teaching is the inflexibility of grade-based curriculum. In some small multi-grade teaching classes or school, the teachers are required to cover all the material for any one year for all the students.
4. Teacher training programmers’ have not focused on practical issues and techniques for handling multi-grade teaching studies.
5. Timetables are not flexible enough.
6. Teachers of multi-grade class should have extra preparation time.
7. Teachers assigned to multi-grade class should preferably be those who are most willing to teach.
8. Information concerning appropriate groupings, classroom organization, instructional strategies and curriculum modification should be provided to principals and teachers.
9. In a multi- grade class there is time to recognize that a child’s social and emotional needs are an important as academic needs.
10. In a classroom where all children are learning at different rates and are not all the same ages there is a little competition.
11. Multi-grade classroom take the focus of meeting the needs of the whole group of learners instead meet the needs of each individual student.