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In their efforts to compartmentalize learning into subject areas, schools have further limited learning by prescribing what exactly should be taught. Stringent constraints are placed on classroom teachers not only to "cover" specific subject matter, but also to avoid trespassing on curriculum for the next grade. In her new book, Maureen Miletta describes how she and three teachers from grades four, five, and six relaxed those limitations and developed a multiage classroom: how they created an environment where learning is valued, where children have a voice in their education, and where teachers have the freedom to create exciting, imaginative programs.
A Multiage Classroom is both theoretical and practical. It discusses ways teachers can plan and develop a multiage program, refine and extend choices to children, integrate and infuse the arts into the curriculum, implement the principles of team teaching, and effect change in their schools.
For Miletta and her colleagues, integrating subjects never meant finding artificial correlations or connections for their own sake; those connections emerged as the result of intensive and in-depth study of a subject as students immersed themselves in meaningful and responsible investigations. The final chapters deal with team teaching, the creation of a democratic community, the involvement of parents, the assessment of the students, and the evaluation of the program by an outside team-important considerations for any teacher at any grade level in any community.
|Pt. I||Filling in the Background|
|1||Initiative and Possibility||3|
|2||A Community of Purposeful Learners||15|
|Pt. II||Making Curricular Connections|
|3||Literacy and the Social Sciences||27|
|4||Science and Mathematics||43|
|Pt. III||Essential Elements|
|6||Cooperation and Shared Responsibility||69|
|7||Teaching Others to Teach||79|
|Pt. IV||Assessment and Evaluation|
|9||Evaluation of the Program||103|