My lovely daughter mentioned to me the other day that her district supports looping. I have been investigating this educational practice that has been around for a long time. Looping involves keeping groups of students together for two or more years with the same teacher. Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian educator and philosopher living in Germany in the early 1900s, believed a long-term relationship with a teacher was more beneficial to children. He founded the Waldorf Schools in Germany, where teachers stayed with the same children for eight years. Looping is still practiced in Germany today in grades one through four. Looping is also practiced in thousands of classrooms in the United States. I am very familiar with Montessori education which practices looping as well.
In reviewing the research, I found an excerpt from Eric Jensen's book, Teaching with Poverty in Mind. He mentions research that shows looping to be beneficial to children of poverty. Looping is correlated to increased math and reading performance, emotional stability, better conflict resolution, stronger bonds among stakeholders, higher attendance rates, and fewer referrals to special education. I look forward to reading his book.
I also found a great article that summarizes looping here.
What are your thoughts on looping? I would love to hear from you!