The following chart, based on information from Fox (1997), Anderson & Pavan (1993), and the American Association of School Administrators (1992), summarizes the common characteristics of multiage programs:
|Multiage Is:||Multiage Is Not:|
|Heterogeneous mix of children.||Ability grouping.|
|Flexible grouping patterns based on the needs of the class.||Based on rigid ability groups or age/grade groups (children of different ages being instructed differently according to age or grade).|
|Teacher directed, child centered.
Teacher as facilitator.
|Supportive of continuous learning.||Retention/promotion.|
|Developmentally appropriate teaching practices focused on the understanding of major concepts and methods of inquiry and the learning process, and integrated curriculum.||Lock-step curriculum focused on mastery of skills and content knowledge.|
|Active, cooperative student learning.||Work time where children are expected to complete seatwork independently.|
|Authentic assessment.||Assessment based on tests and standardized measurements.|
|Individualized reporting system.||Comparative reporting system typically based on letter grades: ABCDF.|
|Varied instructional strategies.||Instruction focused solely on one method or learning style.|