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streaminga form of organization in schools where pupils are grouped according to their overall ability. This form of differentiation has been, and still remains, a common feature of UK schools, although there are numerous variations of it, such as ‘banding’ or 'setting’. There is also some evidence to suggest that, in primary schools at least, formal streaming is now much less common (Reid 1986). Its justification is to be found in the psychological tradition of education and derives from the evidence presented by Cyril Burt to the Hadow Committee in 1931. British use of streaming is almost unique. It is illegal in Norway, has been abolished in the Soviet Union, and is not used in the US or France.
Streaming rests on two basically simple beliefs: that since children vary in their ability (however this is defined) they learn best in classes of children with similar ability and that such classes are better, or more easily, taught. By contrast, mixed ability classes are believed to hamper the learning of both bright and dull children and make teaching difficult. Literature in the SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION is replete with studies on the nature of streaming and its consequences for the educational achievement of children.
Children are allocated to different streams on the basis of standardized tests in English, Arithmetic and IQ tests (see INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENT), although some weight is also given to teachers’ subjective assessments. Considerable research exists to suggest that streaming appears to favour children with particular ascribed characteristics, especially parental social class (Douglas, 1964). Other evidence suggests that streaming involves social as well as academic differentiation, where teachers, consciously or otherwise, discriminate between pupils according to perceptions of their social class origins (Barker Lunn, 1970). It leads to ‘covert’ streaming in both streamed and unstreamed classes.
Streaming practices have considerable effects on the life of a school and the performance of children. Several studies show that streaming is a self-fulfilling prophecy, others suggest that it reinforces social class differences, structures pupils’ friendships and the development of informal cultures (Hargreaves, 1967; Lacey, 1970).
streamingTransmitting digital audio or video content while users listen or watch. Material can be streamed from a private network or the public Internet, the latter now the streaming capital of the world. To the user, streaming is the same as listening to radio or watching cable, satellite or broadcast TV, except that a connection to the Internet is required. Like cable and satellite TV, content can be streamed on demand or on a regular schedule.
Unlike downloading files, which remain in the computer until the user deletes them, streaming content is automatically deleted from the computer, set-top box, smart TV or mobile device after being played.
Streaming, Downloading and Transmitting
Because streamed content is actually being downloaded (if only temporarily), and downloading means transmitting to the user's device, the term streaming is often erroneously used as a synonym for downloading, as well as any kind of transmission. See stream, streaming audio, streaming video, adaptive streaming and home theater streaming.