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Dismantling Status Hierarchies in Heterogeneous Classrooms


by Elizabeth G. Cohen, Diane Kepner & Patricia Swanson — 1995

The three authors of this chapter have worked closely together as part of the Program for Complex Instruction. Complex instruction is a set of curricular and instructional strategies designed for heterogeneous classrooms. The teaching objectives are conceptual and stress higher-order thinking. Students use each other as resources in cooperative groups, working on demanding, open-ended tasks requiring a wide range of intellectual abilities and skills. The three authors bring different perspectives to the topic of dismantling status hierarchies. One is the perspective of the classroom teacher who has had practical experience in treating problems of dominance and nonparticipation arising from status orders. A second perspective is that of a staff developer who has worked with teachers while they m~Lstered the underlying concepts and the treatments presented here. Still a third perspective is that of the researcher and program developer who has seen the work on dismantling status hierarchies develop from academic theories, through laboratory and classroom experiments, to practical and widely disseminated strategies for teachers.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 94, No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 96 Number 5, 1995, p. 16-31
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18811, Date Accessed: 12/11/2017 10:23:23 AM

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About the Author
  • Elizabeth Cohen
    Stanford University
    E-mail Author
    ELIZABETH G. COHEN is Professor of Education and Sociology in the School of Education at Stanford University, where she is also the Director of the Program for Complex Instruction.
  • Diane Kepner
    Stanford University
    E-mail Author
    DIANE KEPNER is connected with the Program for Complex Instruction in the School of Education at Stanford University.
  • Patricia Swanson
    California State University—Stanislaus
    E-mail Author
    PATRICIA SWANSON is Assistant Professor of Education at California State University—Stanislaus at Turlock, California.
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