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Sociology Tracking Debate Notes

by: Jade Frederickson

Sociology Tracking Debate Notes Sociology 20213

Marketplace > Texas Christian University > Sociology 20213 > Sociology Tracking Debate Notes
Jade Frederickson
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

Includes notes from the article. Lecture notes will be uploaded when it is finished after break.
Introductory Sociology
Dr. Hampton
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jade Frederickson on Friday March 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Sociology 20213 at Texas Christian University taught by Dr. Hampton in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views.


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Date Created: 03/04/16
Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Grouping: The Tracking Debate Tracking: From Theory to Practice  Tracking refers to the practice of assigning students to instructional groups on the basis of  ability o Used to be: academic, general or vocational tracks o Has become: advanced, honors, regular or basic o Most tracking occurs for math and English, with some schools tracking for social  studies, science, language, etc… o Used to increase learning and tailor instruction to student’s ability level o Used to promote cognitive development Research on Tracking  Based on a variety of academic factors as well as nonacademic considerations  Track assignments are not as permanent as people would like to believe  A greater proportion of minority and low income students are assigned to the lower tracks  while higher social status is associated with higher tracks Effects of Tracking  Quality and quantity of instruction increases with higher level tracks  Students in high­ability tracks learn faster and learn more  Inequitable and ineffective o Lower­ability and income students have fewer opportunities o Conveys that they are of a lower social status Tracking as an Organizational Practice  Intended purpose: increase the effectiveness and efficiency of instruction o Many unintended and negative consequences  Segregation of students by race or ethnicity as related to their academic  background and therefore their socioeconomic status  Low social status as being associated with the lower tracks decreases students’ motivation and effort  Heterogeneous tracks which show a range in the distribution of the  achievement of each individual (i.e. not everyone is on the same level)  Created by teacher recommendations as opposed to test scores or  academic work  Slower achievement of students in the lower tracks due to the fact that  teachers don’t give the students’ much regard and put less time into teaching  and creating decent lesson plans  Negative social psychological consequences which teach lower track students  that they may not be good enough to even attend college  Should be reformed so that it is more homogenous and lower track students receive more  support o Also allow students to change tracks More than Misapplied Technology: A Normative and Political Response to Hallinan on Tracking  The structure of tracking is embedded in cultural and political contexts o Good and bad intentions, and messy human decision making o A lot harder to change the structure and set­up of tracking than one may think  because there are certain norms and political relations that have already been enacted o Many educators have spent years trying to reform the lower track programs and  would be offended if told that they need an attitude adjustment o Discriminatory factors also come into play when decided what tracks to put students  intojust a way of life o Usually patterns are used to decide on academic tracks for students )for example, if  this student of this background is in this track, this student probably is as well because they grew up very similarly  Also creates the heterogeneity  Nevertheless, heterogeneity allows some of these lower­income kids to be  exposed to higher track learning o Detracking is a very hard undertaking to try and reform  Tracking becomes a failure when the school fails to commit to equality, not the other way  around o Detracking requires changing teachers perceptions and philosophies about teaching  and race o Changing a school’s climate may eliminate the need to abandon tracking


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