Departmentalization in Elementary Schools

April 1966
Education Digest;Apr1966, Vol. 31 Issue 8, p48
The article focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of departmentalization in elementary schools in the U.S. Departmentalization in elementary schools was the topic of a recent study by the Educational Research Service. Identified were 97 large school systems that in 1964-65 were using departmentalization in one or more elementary schools. Most of the reporting systems used more than one pattern of departmentalization in their elementary schools, usually tailoring the pattern to, fit the skills of the teachers in each school. Those in favor of departmentalization mentioned that it was a good way to insure a well-balanced program for all pupils. Pupils like having more than one teacher. Flexibility under departmentalization may work two ways: Pupils may move from one ability level to another within the same grade, or pupils may move across grade lines. Forty-three percent of the 97 systems reported that pupils could move in both these ways. Teachers have higher morale when teaching in their own special field. Some respondents had reservations about departmentalization, however. A number of them mentioned that scheduling was difficult, especially in finding large enough blocks of time for thoroughly covering each subject.


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