study, these researchers drew on the ECLS-K database, from where they included only the first-time kindergarten students, who learnt in the same school the whole year. They also excluded students with learning disabilities, and those with limited proficiency in the English language. A multilevel analysis was then used to assess the influence of within-class grouping and other school and instructional factors on the reading achievement of kindergarteners. Nonetheless, the results from this study showed that when teachers use within-class grouping more frequently, this had a positive influence on the mean school gain in reading. This study therefore, suggests that the use of ability groupings in kindergartens might lead to an improvement in the early literacy and reading (O’Connell & Levitt, 2006). In another study, Tach and Farkas (2005) used the ECLS-K data to explore the influence of within-class reading on kindergarten and first grade students. These hypothesized that the effectiveness of within-class ability grouping is influenced by the incoming level of reading of the students, their proficiency in mathematics, as well as their preschool behavior problems, which are more common among boys and those students from families of low socioeconomic status. The researchers used hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) on the ECLS-K data, and included only those students and classrooms that had complete data, beginning from kindergarten, end of kindergarten, and first grade. Nonetheless, results of this study showed that prior reading test scores of students and the judgment of teachers on the learning ability of students influenced the effectiveness of within-class ability groupings in kindergartens. Overall, the ability groupings in kindergartens, according to this study,...
This study exhibits considerable limitations. First, there will be bias in the selection process of participants. The selection criterion involved requires that only students who have never changed schools between fall and spring of their kindergarten year be included in the study sample. For this reason therefore, the results might not reflect the effect of ability grouping among all kindergarten students. In addition, the use of self-report questionnaires to establish the frequency of using ability groupings among teachers cannot generate the accuracy of teachers' self-ratings. Moreover, this data cannot determine the quality of instruction in the ability groupings and cannot establish whether the teacher modified the instruction to suit student’s needs. More so, the timing of the study might lead to misplaced levels of reading proficiency, thus leading to wrong results of the measure of academic process testing.
This paper makes a conclusion that the role and effectiveness of ability groupings has not been given the attention it deserves. Therefore, as most kindergarten teachers attempt to improve the reading scores of their students, some have paid lee attention to ability groupings strategy. This study therefore, seeks to investigate the effectiveness of ability groupings on the reading scores of kindergarteners in Russell Primary School. Depending on the results of the study, ability groupings might or might not be recommended to kindergarten teachers.