عنوان مقاله [English]
Multi-grade classrooms are organizations in which students of different ages are in the same class together. Some multi-grade teachers may teach two grades, but some teach three, four, or five, and in the new national curriculum, six grades; In other words, a multi-grade class is a situation in which a teacher teaches multiple grades simultaneously or separately in one session. Given the increasing trend of rural-urban migration, as well as the slowdown in population growth in these areas and the lack of a quorum for independent classes in these areas, an increase in the number of these classes will be inevitable in the future.
A number of researches shows that, in most countries, including Iran, multi-grade classes have a long history, however, in some countries this issue has been ignored and in some cases has decreased; While in other countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines, positive steps have been taken in this regard, which has led to a new period in the history of teaching multi-grade classes in these countries; Because the researches show that, the category of multi-grade classes is not a temporary thing that will not be needed in the future. But according to the statistics, in our country, multi-grade classes and the number of students studying in these classes, are increasing; while in the educational system of the country, basic principles have not been developed for the effective administration of these classes. On the other hand, due to the fact that these classes face many problems, they also have many strengths that if the desired model of the curriculum of multi-grade classes is designed, it can be provided that such a challenging situation becomes a valuable educational opportunity. According to the UN Charter of Human Rights, access to basic education remains an inalienable human right; therefore, a qualitative move towards optimal and efficient education in the education system is obvious and necessary. Also one of the important factors is the development of any society of resources and manpower and how to train them according to the realities of multi-grade classrooms, such as lack of flexible curriculum, disproportionate national curriculum content, lack of flexible schedule, classroom management problems from many subjects and etc. trying to find shortcuts in addition to the quality of performance of multi-grade classes is mandatory. On the other hand, the Iranian education system, following the decentralization of planning as well as structurally, has considered decentralized educational planning. The multi-level educational approach, despite its opportunities, always faces challenges that by covering and minimizing those the lofty goals of education as well as multi-level classes are achievable. One of the most important challenges that has occupied the minds of many researchers is the adaptation of the multi-level curriculum. In multi-level teaching, the teacher must use two or more educational programs in different grades and at the same time; for this reason, multi-grade classes are not desirable for teachers and educational officials, but in certain circumstances, the use of these classes seems necessary and reasonable. Consider multi-grade classes the educational system faces various challenges in achieving its goals for various reasons, including the existence of a significant number of schools and multi-grade classes in the country. Diversity of educational levels, small classroom environment, lack of teaching materials, and educational equipment are among the problems that prevail in such educational environments. Also take multilevel education, is a symbol of educational, training, and administrative programs of education system in the form of providing services in these areas. The experiences of countries such as Ghana and Sudan confirm their extensive attention to the curricula of multi-grade classes and planning for the optimal use of these classes. Experience gained in Australia, Bangladesh, People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, etc. show that, elementary education scheduling and list of minimum educational abilities are not designed and prepared for multi-grade classes. According to research, multigrade classes are associated with problems. In conclusion, issues such as rural migration, ethnic prejudices, increasing the age of marriage, declining population, dispersal of villages, lack of skilled manpower, increasing the base repetition rate, etc. have expanded multi-grade classes in rural areas of the country.The present study was conducted in the 98-99 academic year with a qualitative approach, phenomenological type, purposeful sampling, and in-depth semi-structured interviews with 19 primary school teachers in East Azerbaijan province. Each interview lasted 90 minutes. By listing the researchers' assumptions that were the result of experience and study, their impact on the research outcome was prevented before data collection and during the work. Data validation strategies were performed using multidimensionality, member review, and the researcher's long-term involvement during the interview. Training participants were asked in different ways. Since the data collection method in this study was in-depth interview method, it was tried to conduct the interviews accurately and without bias in order to ask sufficient contents about the questions. Also, to ensure the reliability of the researcher's data analysis, they consulted with each of the experts and asked their opinion on whether the comprehensive and final description of the findings reflects their experience or not. The main method of maintaining the validity and reliability of the data in this study was to record interviews and confirm the final descriptions by experts. The argumentative approach to data analysis and interpretation in this section has also been inductive-deductive. This means that first open and partial codes are identified and by putting them together based on the relationships between them, central and more general codes are created. After this inductive process, open codes are re-identified. Below are the pivotal concepts created or pivotal concepts that were later created and integrated. The text of the interviews was analyzed manually using the Colaizzi model. Findings showed that the main challenge of multi-grade classrooms are lack of specialized teachers of multi-grade classrooms, lack of management system of compensation for proper teacher services, side challenges of multi-grade classrooms and the advantages and disadvantages of multi-grade classrooms. According to the findings, it can be concluded that most of the challenges of multi-grade classes can be overcome by designing an appropriate model of education in multi-grade classes and using an appropriate service compensation system.