Does setting by ability have an impact on students' in mathematics?

Student, A. (2018) Does setting by ability have an impact on students' in mathematics? Undergraduate theses, University of Chichester.

[thumbnail of 2018002.v2.pdf] Text
2018002.v2.pdf - Submitted Version
Restricted to Registered users only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (506kB)


The purpose of this study was to identify if setting students by ability was affecting them within the mathematics classroom, positively or negatively. More precisely, the study looked at whether there was a difference in enjoyment levels, confidence levels and satisfaction regarding pace across top, middle and bottom set students. It also assessed the differences in pace across the sets.
The research took place in a secondary school on the South Coast. A total of 147 year 7 and year 9 students from two bottom sets, two middle sets and two top sets participated. Furthermore, 36 observations, 12 in each set, were carried out.
The main findings indicated that there was no difference in enjoyment level across sets; all students enjoyed mathematics to the same extent. When compared to the middle and bottom set students, top set students were found to have the highest levels of confidence and self-esteem. Further analysis revealed that there was no statistically significant difference in confidence levels between the middle and bottom set students. In terms of pace, students in the top sets were found to have the greatest satisfaction and bottom set students were the least satisfied. The observations indicated that there were no statistically significant differences in the time spent on the starters and teacher input across sets. However, it was found that top set students were given more time on activities than students in the middle and bottom sets.
The conclusions from the research were that setting by ability does have an impact on students' in mathematics, to an extent. Homogeneous setting does not affect students' enjoyment but there are differences in confidence across sets. Ability grouping also influences the pace of lessons, particularly regarding the time students get to spend on completing work, which leads to greater satisfaction regarding pace within the top sets.

Publication Type: Theses (Undergraduate)
Additional Information: BA (Hons) Key Stage 2/3 Mathematics
Uncontrolled Keywords: ability setting, ability grouping, maths, mathematics, secondary
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Education, Social and Life Sciences > Education and Teaching
Student Research > Undergraduate
Depositing User: Ruth Clark
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2021 09:02
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2021 09:02

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item
▲ Top

Our address

I’m looking for