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Multigrade teaching in primary education as a promising pedagogy for teacher education in Austria and Finland

By Eeva Kaisa Hyry-Beihammer and Tina Hascher


This chapter focuses on teaching practices used in multigrade classes and the importance of them being incorporated in teacher education as promising pedagogies for future use. Multigrade classes - defined as classes in which two or more grades are taught together - are common worldwide. Hence, there is a need for teacher candidates to become familiar with how to teach in split grade classrooms. However, research on multigrade teaching as well as its development in teacher education studies has been neglected, even though multigrade teachers need special skills to organize instruction in their heterogeneous classrooms. We argue that in successful multigrade teaching practices, the heterogeneity of students is taken into account and cultivated. Based on content analysis of teacher interviews conducted in Austrian and Finnish primary schools, we recommend teaching practices such as spiral curricula, working plans, and peer learning as promising teacher education pedagogies for future multigrade class teaching. We also suggest that the professional skills required in high-quality teaching practices in multigrade teaching should be further studied by researchers and educators

Topics: 370 Education
Publisher: 'Emerald'
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1108/S1479-368720150000022005
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