I am the principal of a BC offshore school located near Shanghai China. The Chinese administration is considering implementing a program where starting at grade 1 students will be put into various courses based on their language ability. They will take certain non-language intensive courses all together in Mandarin, but for ELA courses, they are considering streaming.
Their main rationale for this is that it will allow lower level students less anxiety when speaking/writing without fear of higher level students judging them. They also feel it will require less differentiation, and lessen the burden on the teachers to teach to a wide spectrum of abilities.
I've cautioned against diving into this re-structuring without first consulting the research, and making sure this approach will be the most effective way to accomplish their goals. I've also mentioned the emotional/social skills that all students benefit from more diverse classrooms, but I feel that the academic performance piece is the one they are most concentrated on.
If anyone out there has experience with this, or could point me in the direction of studies/research that would weigh the pros and cons of this form of streaming, this would really help with the discussion here.
Thanks for taking the time, and any advice/information is greatly appreciated.