Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Collette Tayler

Second Advisor

Dr Amanda Blackmore


In Western Australia, multi-age grouping is being explored as a means of providing a rich learning environment which helps children to learn, caters for individual differences and recognises the child's social and cognitive development (Rice & Basich. 1994 ). To date no study on the child's perceptions, expectations and experience of school within this organisational framework has been conducted. The purpose of this study is to find out about young children's perceptions of tasks, structure, routines and roles in a multi-age class. What are children's perceptions of the class grouping and task content in a multi-age class? What are children's perceptions of the routine that exists in a multi-age class? What arc children's perceptions of the rule that exist for the children and adults in a multi-age class'? A situational case-study was conducted, using six children from two multi-age classrooms (P-I) in a Perth metropolitan primary school. Three girls and three boys ranging in age from four years to six years were selected from the multi-age classes. The children were drawn from the same locality and had similar socio-economic backgrounds. Naturalistic observations assisted the researcher to sec directly the everyday behaviour of the children in the multi-age grouped classrooms. This also enabled the researcher to build up a rapport with the children and allow for an adaptation period. Each child participant was interviewed informally by the researcher who focussed the discussion on the activities and events that the children were directly involved with in the multi-age classrooms. Data from the observations teacher reports and interviews were used in conjunction with the structure provided by the two level conceptual framework.