On the Merits of Mixed Age Education: A Globalized Update
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Due to increasing global immigration and the recent proliferation of interconnective technologies, our world is quickly becoming inescapably international. As such, educators have a responsibility to prepare children for emergence into this world as competent global citizens. Leveraging the history, research findings, and philosophy of mixed age learning, this paper argues that mixed age classrooms are optimal learning environments for preparing children for engagement with urgent issues of global justice. Through the facilitating condition of regular facilitated interage interaction and peer tutoring in a family-like environment, mixed age learning has been linked to decreasing instances of social isolation, competition for power and status, and aggressive behaviors while simultaneously promoting prosocial behavior, cooperative collaboration, celebration of diversity, and the cultivation of interdependent self-awareness. These prosocial behaviors are also positively correlated to increases in academic achievement, addressing rising concerns in academic outcomes in the United States. In the end, empirical research is used to inform and buttress the author’s strong opinion that, despite the increasing focus on academic standardization for administrative efficiency, mixed age learning is a promising environment for fostering the humanistic values and prosocial dispositions children need to emerge as critically engaged members of a global society.
- Education - Seattle