Learning and Teaching in Multigrade Settings IOE logo

Education for All

Pupils in a classroom in Vietnam

Multigrade classes, in which teachers work with more than one curriculum grade at the same time, are widespread in developing countries. They are also surprisingly common in industrialised countries. Yet the needs of learners and teachers in multigrade classes often remain invisible to those who plan, design and fund education centrally. In most countries, multigrade classes arise through necessity rather than choice. In many areas, parents do not have the opportunity to choose between sending their child to a school with multigrade or monograde classes. If they choose not to place their child in a multigrade class, the child will remain uneducated. Access to multigrade classes, and the quality of teaching and learning in them, are central strategies in the worldwide fulfilment of Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals for education.

Multigrade Education in China

The Eighth Annual Conference of the Multigrade Instruction Committee of the China Education Society, in conjunction with the Western China Forum on Multigrade Instruction was held at the University of Lanzhou,Gansu Province, PRC, August 10-11 2009. A number of papers were presented by researchers, policy makers and multigrade principals and teachers. A selection of key note papers and presentations is available:  

Ma Jun
Angela W Little
Vijay Kumar

Multigrade Education in India

There are several examples of good multigrade practice in India. One of the longest running multigraded programmes is based at the Rishi Valley Education Centre, Chittor, Andhra Pradesh, India  

Another is the large scale Activity Based Learning programme in the state of Tamil Nadu. The film, The Silent Revolution, is a documentary film that describes the programme. 
The Silent Revolution - PART I
The Silent Revolution - PART II

A written description of the programme, by Dr Ananda Lakshmy, is also available.  A discussion of multigrade schools in India is also available in two monographs produced through the CREATE consortium:

CREATE Pathways to Access, Research Monograph No 17 by Nicole Blum and Rashmi Diwan
CREATE Pathways to Access, Research Monograph No 26 by Angela W. Little

Education for All and Multigrade Teaching: Challenges and Opportunities
Edited by Angela W. Little

book cover

Home | Definitions of terms | Teacher education | Bibliography | Full texts | Photo libraries | Your research | Links | Flyer

This site is maintained by Angela Little Last updated: 06-01-2010