Separation by Ability

I remember countless times in primary school being bored out of my mind waiting for other students to finish their work. I was bored, uninterested, and quite frankly, wasting my time. So, I had a strong feeling that students should be grouped by ability, not just a mix of mumbo jumbo.

In working towards my elementary education degree, my view has changed somewhat. In my recent clinical class of second graders I saw the higher level students fly through work and sit and be bored. But what I have learned is that you can do many lessons through group work that can allow both under level and above level students to grow.

By placing a mixed ability of learners in a group, the above level learners can teach. Through research, if someone can teach a topic, they have fully learned it. Also, the lower level learners are learning through their peers. It is not only an easier environment for the lower level students to learn in, but also can in ways being easier for them to understand because it is being explained through the eyes of a child, rather than an adult who may just simply know the topic BECAUSE.

So, my opinion is that separating students by ability can be avoided if we encourage group work and collaboration. What's your opinion?