The multiage classroom might be compared to that of a family unit; one that lives and learns together over an extended period of time. In a multiage setting students stay with the same teacher for more than one year allowing time to foster trusting relationships with teachers and peers.
Like a family, the multiage classroom is comprised of differing age groups who work and play together, as well as learn from and with one another. Both settings represent a multitude of abilities, gifts and talents, as well as different ways of learning. In healthy settings, this diversity is recognized and celebrated with both groupings.
The multiage model is further characterized as one that favors an integrated curricula, practices that are developmentally appropriate, and instruction that is individualized. Flexible groupings are a common strategy used within the model in order to accommodate differing levels of maturity and achievement. (Mason & Stimson, 1996).