Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Kenneth Vogler


The purpose of this qualitative action research study was to describe one sixth grade English Language Arts (ELA) teacher’s pedagogical practices in her heterogeneous grouped classroom and her homogeneous grouped classroom. The focus of this study was on instructional practices in two classes, one homogeneously grouped based on high English Language Arts ability; the other heterogeneously grouped. Through the data generated, the participant-researcher reflected upon the English Language Arts instruction in both classes and described the teacher’s instructional practices in this middle school. Semi-structured interviews, a questionnaire, field observations, videotapes and lesson plans provided the qualitative research data for this action research. Findings include lack of challenge and rigor for honors/gifted and talented ELA students, low teacher goals and expectations for all students, and traditional pedagogy within both class types. The participant-researcher reflected on the data with the teacher-participant to design an action plan to improve instruction within her sixth grade homogeneous and heterogeneous ability grouped English Language Arts classes.