Teaching Mixed-Abilities

Course Description

For well over a century education’s purpose has been to feed industrialization. Today, the main aim of education is to produce people who will be successful in the economic field. Thus, education has turned into ways of sharpening the intellect in order to dissect and divide things, putting people on separate islands of their own bound by what they know. However, the blossoming of the human being, and so the possibility of building a better future cannot happen without inclusiveness and inclusivity. Successful classroom management of mixed-ability classes is exactly about inclusiveness and inclusivity through creating the right conditions where all our students flourish. Our classes have to be about expanding our student’s horizons, where not knowing something, differences between each other, and diversity in whatever aspects of life, are all great opportunities to learn. In this course we will look at strategies and methods of engaging all learners, and enabling their own potential to be discovered and realized through fun and enjoyable activities.

Methodology & Assessment

The vast majority of teachers will have taught a great number of mixed-ability classes and are aware of the challenges this presents in the teaching and learning process. So the main goal of the course is for participants to become equipped with the necessary tools to become the teacher who is able to overcome these challenges in their teaching and provide conditions where all their students can flourish.

Participants will prepare a personal action plan to implement ideas learnt on the course not only in their everyday teaching but also disseminate ideas in order to create a school-culture where teaching is about inclusivity and inclusiveness, and about expanding our student’s horizons. A place where not knowing something, differences between each other, and diversity in whatever aspects of life, are all great opportunities to learn.

Learning outcomes

  1. Increased awareness of the different contemporary challenges in a mixed-ability class. Participants will gain a greater understanding of the challenges of the learning-teaching process in a contemporary mixed-ability class from various contexts across the world, including large classes
  2. Increased awareness of the factors that influence learning either positively or negatively in a mixed-ability environment. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of the various factors that influence learning in a mixed-ability environment. Participants will evaluate their own contexts and teaching within each of these factors and aspects, and identify their own solutions.
  3. Increased awareness of the influence of teacher beliefs, teacher presence and teacher roles. Participants will reflect on their own learning experiences and their influence on the kind of teacher belief they have formed. Participants will identify beliefs, the kind of presence and roles that enable all students to be engaged in the learning progress regardless of their abilities and identify an action plan to become this teacher.
  4. Enhanced teamwork and collaboration: Participants will gain the skills necessary to work collaboratively with team members, communicate effectively to achieve common goals.
  5. Sharing and learning good practices: Participants will have the opportunity to openly share challenges they experienced with their mixed classes, and possible solutions for various teaching and learning scenarios.

Planned Schedule

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6
Course Intro:

  • Getting to know each other
  • Reasons for doing the course
  • Expectations
  • Prepare to teach
Preparing for a mixed-ability (MA) class:

  • Identifying variables
  • Setting goals
  • Identifying learning paths
Managing the MA class:

  • Planning differentiated activities
  • Grouping students
  • Learner roles
Ways of creating learning opportunities 1:

  • Use of images
  • Use of movement and drama

Participants teach the group a point from their area of expertise for 20 minutes applying the techniques learnt during this course


  • Drawing up a dissemination activity plan
  • Presenting these to each other in order to evaluate each other’s action plans for implementation and dissemination, and respond to any queries raised.
  • Reflection on their action plans.
  • Course wrap-up and awarding the certificates.
Challenges in the contemporary mixed-ability classes:

  • Identifying challenging teaching situations
  • Setting the desired outcome
  • Understanding the development process
  • Teacher roles that facilitate learning in a mixed-ability class
  • Self-reflection
Assessment in the MA class:

  • Types of assessment
  • Formative and summative assessment in MA
  • Forms of peer- and self-assessment
  • Assessment techniques and strategies in practice
Teacher roles and techniques:

  • Hands-on exercises for implementing differentiated instruction
  • Case studies on successful differentiation with AI
Getting better together:

  • Focusing on the task
  • Effective study-skills
  • Dominant learners
  • Emotions, expectations and self-esteem
Feedback on our MA teaching and development:

  • Identifying further areas of development
  • Drawing-up personal development action plan for short term and long term goals
Self-directed Professional Development:

  • Identifying personal goals for development
  • Exploring possible paths of development
Providing supportive feedback:

  • Criteria for feedback
  • Characteristics of effective feedback
  • Language of teacher feedback
Ways of creating learning opportunities 1:

  • Identifying learning gaps
  • Collaborative projects
Assisted lesson preparation:

  • Pps will be teaching a point from their area of expertise for 20 mins
  • Pps will need to prepare to use some of the techniques learnt
Looking back:

  • Reflecting on the course
  • Feedback on the course

The designer and trainer of this course is Erika Osváth, co-author of Mixed-Ability Teaching, Oxford University Press, 2016

Language level: English B2 and above*
Locations: Budapest (Hungary) and Pula (Croatia)
Time: 9 AM to 2:30 PM daily (extracurricular activities outside of learning activities)
Dates: Budapest: 6-10 May, 15-19 July 2024 (5 days, 25 lessons)
Pula 5-10 August, 2024 (6 days, 30 lessons)
Price: €430 (5 days), €510 (6 days) including extracurricular cultural activities and welcome dinner

*The language of the course is English, linguistic aid may be provided for speakers of Hungarian with lower language abilities

The course complies with all rules as set in the Quality Standards of the Erasmus+ program. Extracurricular activities are in addition to the lessons, and study groups are international. Note: should the latter condition not be met, participants will be informed 40 days in advance.

Payment facilities: participants with funding from the actual year’s project budget may ask to request a deposit of EUR 100 to guarantee their places on the course and pay the rest of the fees later.

It is possible to take part in 2 consecutive courses, please book both separately. A price reduction of 15% will be applied.