FINDING THE QUESTION As indicated above, the area that I needed to improve upon was, after four weeks teaching practice, very clear. I feel that I could only have identified this after a period of practice, however. It is, after all, the practice of teaching that Action Research attempts to improve.
The School has many children recognised as having special educational needs, and is committed to a policy of integration. As a teacher of Humanities, where none of the classes are streamed, I had to cope with the notion of making all my lessons accessible to a wide range of abilities. After four weeks of frustration, and feelings of failure on my part (and probably on the part of many of the pupils in my classes) I decided that this was the area that most needed improving, and which I would most LIKE to improve. While this problem persisted I would never be satisfied with my teaching. Given that I only had two weeks in which to do this I decided to concentrate on children of low ability rather than attempting to look at the whole range of abilities in my classes. I also decided to limit my work to two classes: a year 8 and a year 9 class.
Having decided on the boundaries of my research, I set about reducing the problem to a simple question. I wanted to make my lessons more accessible to low ability children in mixed ability classes and therefore came to the question:
"How can I differentiate my year 8 and year 9 classes in order to make them (the lessons ) accessible to low ability pupils?"