Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Kathleen Brown

Rights Information

© 2014 Olivia Tay


Ability grouping has long been a subject of heated debate in education systems worldwide. Despite being such a controversial topic, ability grouping is still widely used in classrooms across the world. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact that ability grouping has not only on students, but also on those who implement this tool in the classroom, namely teachers. To provide a balanced view, the paper considers the advantages and disadvantages of ability grouping. The paper also compares ability grouping in both the U.S. and Singapore to demonstrate that no system is perfect. Each comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. However, aspects of each system can be borrowed and incorporated to strengthen existing education systems. Because each country has unique political, economic, and social forces, it is important for policy makers to customize foreign practices according to the political and cultural landscape of their country.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.