The power of Interactive Groups: how diversity of adults volunteering in classroom groups can promote inclusion and success for children of vulnerable minority ethnic populations
SourceCambridge Journal of Education
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Despite the limited success of grouping students by attainment in enhancing educational achievement for all, this practice is still widely followed in European schools. Aiming at identifying successful educational actions that promote high academic achievement and social inclusion and cohesion, part of the EU-sponsored Europe-wide INCLUD-ED project analysed different ways of grouping students in classrooms. A classification was developed that distinguishes between three ways according to two dimensions - homogeneity/heterogeneity and use of human resources. This classification differentiates among mixture, streaming, and inclusion. In this paper, an example of inclusive action, Interactive Groups (IGs), is explored in depth. Based on grouping students heterogeneously and including adults from the community in the classroom, IGs address educational inequalities and enhance learning for students participating in them. Empirical data obtained from three case studies in schools in Spain indicate that IGs are one of the most successful inclusive actions implemented in these schools. © 2013 Copyright University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education.