Rose, Brian

Committee Member

McConnell, Christine

Committee Member

Gottlieb, Derek

Committee Member

Farber, Matthew


College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; School of Teacher Education, Education Studies


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



197 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


Students at a suburban high school in the American Mountain West have been separated by race, linguistic ability, and socio-economic status for decades, and the research posits that the ways in which students have moved in cohorts throughout past decades has largely determined their academic pathways in high school. The researcher studied eight student perceptions of variable, heterogeneous grouping and democratic pedagogical practices on academic achievement, feelings of self-agency, and engagement in sophomore English Language Arts; two regular placement (non-advanced) sub-groups of Anglo and Latino/a students were included as student participants. Students were interviewed and observed during group work with peers they chose independently, then in assigned, heterogeneous groups. Students were also given several activities that involved curricular choice and choice in workflow, so it was of interest what factors impacted students’ choices in curricula, peers for group work, and approaches to completing academic tasks. Data collection included questionnaire, interview, observation, review of student work, and tracking of assignment completion and grades. Academic achievement, verbal participation, and self-perceived feelings of efficacy, volition, and safety were assessed to determine whether assigned, heterogeneous grouping that involved democratic choice in curricula inspired higher rates of participation, engagement, achievement, and feelings of efficacy.

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Copyright is held by the author.