Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

MS in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education

First Supervisor

Diane Barrett


This study reviews research and examines studies on the effects of within-class ability grouping on middle school student's academic achievement and motivation to learn. Four seventh grade science classes were placed into 16 randomized and then heterogeneous and homogenous ability groups and tested after each. The main findings indicate that high ability students may succeed in either ability grouping style. Average ability students showed better group performance in homogenous ability groups but tested better as a result of heterogeneous grouping. Low ability students experienced much greater academic achievement as a result of heterogeneous ability groups. Finally, topics for future areas of research are discussed.