What is Cross-Age Learning (CAL)?

Cross-Age Learning

    As reported in more detail in the research briefs portion of this web site, Cross-Age Learning (CAL) is one of the most powerful, simple, and proven means available for stimulating children to grow, both academically and socially.  Older students can effectively help younger students in reading, writing, arithmetic, and almost any other subject area, including the arts and physical education.   The optimal age difference between older and younger students is about two to three years.  Older students typically gain as much or more than younger students, both academically and socially.  Extensive use of CAL has tremendous potential for helping students to become productive citizens and good parents.

School-Wide Cross-Age Learning

    Academic and social gains among their students have typically been made when only some of the teachers in a school use CAL from time to time.  However, especially strong gains have been made when everyone in a school voluntarily participates in CAL regularly for a number of years.  This high level of participation effectively creates a school “culture” of significantly increased mutual respect, responsibility, and focus on learning.  Students feel more positive about each other, themselves, and school. Teachers share more ideas and support with one another and develop increased job satisfaction. Parents and other community members become more supportive of the school. Sample school-wide results are shown on the Why use CAL?

International Cross-Age Learning

    Extensive use of school-wide cross-age learning has great potential for promoting peace (nonviolence) and prosperity (achievement) in our schools, communities, workplaces, and our increasingly interdependent world.  Why? Because peace and prosperity require that we teach children what school-wide cross-age learning so effectively teaches: to actively respect others and to think, read, write, calculate, and create as well as possible.  This Cross-Age Learning (CAL) web site provides ongoing, practical, and moral support among cross-age learning educators throughout the world.  As you will see, almost everything on CAL can be downloaded and freely reproduced, including the multilingual workbook, Vocabulary Increases Power (VIP). Please join with others throughout the world in this important effort.

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