Rosa L. Coley
An Action Research Report Presented to
The Graduate Program in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
For the Degree of Master of Education
February, 24, 2013
In their study, Grant, Richardson, and Forsten (2000) stated that a 1913 memo from the U.S. Department of interior touted that looping as one as one of the most important issues facing urban schools: “Shall teachers in graded schools be advanced from grade to grade with their pupils through a series of two, three, four or more years so that they may come to know the children they teach and be able to build the work of the latter years on that of the earlier years, or shall teachers be required to remain year after year in the same grade while the children, promoted from grade to grade, are taught by a different teacher every year? Because many elementary school teachers spend most of their careers assigned to one grade level, they tend to be thought of as specialists in that grade level rather than as specialist of teaching children.” (Grant, Richardson, & Forsten, 2000, In the Loop).
Therefore the question is, “What is the effect of looping students and the relationships between, parents, teachers, and students? Several scholarly articles were reviewed as the resource of literature and each author and researchers have views that are similar in their findings. The articles reviewed range from the year 1997 up to 2007. In each article the researchers found data that had some answers to whether looping had an effect on students, teachers, and parents relationships.
History of Looping.
The practice of looping dates back to the era where there was only a one room schoolhouse and one teacher that taught students of the ages of six to eighteen years of age. As an educational practice, looping has existed for several centuries in Germany, Japan, and Italy (Simel, 1998). The practice of keeping students and teachers together for several years was and still is intentional. It was implemented in both elementary and secondary schools. It was not until Dewey and his colleagues introduced the idea of a ‘community of learners’ in the early 1900’s that the essence of looping was popularized in the United States. Prior to this time, teachers and students looped, but not for pragmatic reasons-not to build relationships or enhance practice. (Thompson, Franz, & Miller, 2009) Simply because there was only one teacher in a one room school house.
Advantages and Disadvantages.
When teachers and students are looped, researchers found that time. If teachers move up with their classes, the first weeks of the second year will probably be more productive because the teachers will not need the days or weeks it usually takes to become familiar with their student’s learning style, strengths, weaknesses, interests, temperaments, personalities, or their home situation. (Vann, 1997) In an article by Doris Jordan (2000, Looping: Discovering the Difference), a teacher stated, “Over the summer I worried about new students, how they would, fit into our world. Jack and the other students are doing it for me. I watched as Susie helps Alan, a newcomer, set up his notebook. Daniel guides Paul to stay on task during a writing assignment. As my partner, Michael, and I walk around the room, we exchange a glance and a smile. There’s magic unfolding before us.” (Jordan, 2000) The students are showing a growth in their social development.
Another social advantage is that students have reduced apprehension about the new school year and a new teacher and students reap the benefits from time spent on developing social skills and cooperative group strategies in following years. Looping lets students get to know one another well, long term relationships result in an emotional and intellectual climate that encourages thinking, risk-taking, and involvement, English...