There are five key areas which are generally the focus of training packages for multigrade teachers. These encompass the following features.
Classroom management techniques
Managing a multigrade classroom is difficult because there is more than one grade level in the classroom. Hence, the teacher must be skilled in managing instruction to reduce the amount of 'dead time' during which children are not productively engaged on task. This means that teachers must be aware of different ways of grouping children, the importance of independent study areas where students can go when they have finished their work, and approaches to record keeping which are more flexible than those prevalent in the monograde classroom. Students may need to be taught the value of independence and cooperation by involving them in classroom decision making.
These are seen as a key to improving the quality of teaching and learning in the multigrade classroom. The promotion of approaches that increase the level of student independence and cooperative groupwork tend to be suggested. These involve a change in the role of the teacher from 'giver of information' to 'facilitator'. This is to ensure that time spent away form the teacher is spent productively. Three important strategies are peer instruction, in which students act as teachers for each other, cooperative groupwork, which involves small groups engaging in collaborative tasks, and individualized learning programmes which involve the student in self-study.
Planning from curriculum
National curricula are typically produced for the monograde classroom. Each set of grade level material is typically placed in a separate booklet, which may include specific content...