What is capacity grouping? – EdTechReview

‘Ability grouping’ is defined as the practice of integrating students into a learning environment based on their strengths and talents. Capacity group experts argue that this process allows teachers to customize educational materials to better align student needs and improve student performance.

For best results, teachers can also provide the necessary repetition and reinforcement for low-performing students and advanced quality education for highly efficient students.

We can also define grouping as a process of classifying levels based on the ability or performance of students in the classroom. Since each coin has two sides, opponents of the practice argue that ability grouping fails to benefit any student and puts poor and minority children in lower grades where they receive a lower quality education than other groups.

Another interpretation by National Association of EducationAbility grouping, also known as tracking, “the practice of grouping students together according to their skills in the classroom.” Unlike peer learning, competency grouping puts students in cohesive groups or classrooms based on their academic ability. For example, one group may consist of the most successful students, another may consist of “average” students, and the last group may consist of students in difficulty.

What are the types of capacity grouping?

There are two types of capacity groups:

  • In class groups: A teacher divides into small groups according to the students’ understanding of the subject.
  • Between class groups: In this descending technique, the school evaluates students’ different levels of accomplishment and places them in different classes or curriculum order accordingly.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of grouping capabilities?

To better understand the term Ability Grouping, we have brought to you the advantages and disadvantages of Ability Group through research on the subject.


Accelerated learning speed: Exceptional students may occasionally get bored or take action after completing their work or understanding the concept faster than their peers. However, those who practice ability grouping in groups or classes can move faster with their peers of the same ability level.

More personal attention: In mixed classes, teachers usually give the same amount of time to students. But by practicing the empowerment group in the classroom, teachers can easily allocate their attention to low-capacity students or slow learners and teach at a pace that works best for each group, meaning the classes that use the ability group help pay more personalized attention. .

Increases confidence (for class groups): It is likely that in a class of students with mixed abilities, students in difficulty may sometimes develop a harmful perception of themselves, such as labeling themselves the “silent boy” or the lowest scorer on the exam. However, in groups between classes, students are more likely to give similar results, which reduces feelings of inadequacy or unhealthy competition.

Achieves improvements: Grouping differently except for reading instructions (usually “Joplin Plan“) Improves reading achievement. Also, allows students to progress at their own pace — this can lead to improved success.


Emotional Hurt: As already mentioned, disability groups, students are divided into groups based on their strengths, although classification is done to help both groups learn (say red for low-ability students and green for gifted students). This can lead to hurtful jokes, name-calling and social divisions that would not have occurred otherwise if the abilities were not grouped.

Improper division: No matter how many solutions you use, some students are inevitably in a group that doesn’t match their actual abilities. Whether placed too high or too low, students can quickly become de-motivated when they feel more or less accomplished than their peers.

Wrong teacher expectations: Even hardworking teachers can sometimes subconsciously treat students differently according to their groups. If teachers inadvertently start lowering their expectations for students, for example, these students may feel that no one trusts them and behaves at a lower level.

Achievement gap exaggerated: Since individual attention is given to low-performing students, the time spent in groups is the time spent away from regular classroom learning, which can leave children behind, as well as reduce their chances of returning to mainstream learning.

Once students are grouped together, they generally stay at that level for their school careers, and over time the gap between achievement and levels becomes exaggerated. The idea that at any given time the level of accomplishment of students will predict their accomplishment in the future becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Should schools practice capacity building? What are your opinions? Let us know in the comments.

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About the author

Author: Sania Khan

I am Sania Khan, copy-editor at EdTechReview – India’s leading edtech media. As part of the group, my goal is to spread awareness on the growing Adtech market by guiding all academic stakeholders on the latest and quality news, information and resources. A curious writer dedicated to excellence has been creating interesting but informative pieces playing with words since 2016.

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