In order to carry out research into finding effective differentiation and challenge strategies, that are both easy to implement and which work for our students and teachers at Highcliffe school, it was first vital to look at the most reliable way to carry out research. One part of this was achieved by completing Assignment 1. Assignment 1 focussed on finding and critiquing the different methodologies used in educational research. In order to do this I looked at 3 key pieces of research within the broad topic of differentiation strategies. It made the most sense starting with the broadest sense of differentiation we use at Highcliffe which is to use ability grouping. One of the most cited articles on this topic was one by Ireson, Hallam and Hurley (2004). Therefore, the poster portion of Assignment 1 investigated their approaches to researching the effects of ability grouping on GCSE attainment and casting a critical eye over the methods they used compared to the findings they reported. In order to be critical and assess the reliability of the authors findings and methods I had to draw on the research carried out in two other seminal articles in the same field of ability grouping within schools to compare the methodologies and findings. The poster therefore aims to summarise what Ireson, Hallam and Hurley (2004) were aiming to find out, how they carried out their research and their findings, as well as giving a glimpse into the strengths and limitations of their research methodologies compared to similar pieces. This was investigated and reported further within the accompanying 3000 word essay that was simultaneously written and submitted.
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