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Effects & Solutions of Class Size
Transcript of Effects & Solutions of Class Size
(Student-Teacher Achievement Ratio)
Tennessee’s Project STAR—commissioned by the state legislature in the mid-1980s—may be the most influential class reduction program in recent years. Project STAR found substantial evidence that reducing class size improved student academic achievement. Project STAR:
Involved nearly 80 schools from 42 school districts;
Included about 7,000 K-3 students from families ranging from very poor to very affluent (rich)
Required schools to commit to the four-year time frame as a condition of participation
Required schools to agree to random assignment of teachers and students to small (13 to 17 students) or large (22 to 26 students) classes as a condition of participation.
(Student Achievement Guarantee in Education)
A decade later, the Wisconsin State Department of Public Instruction initiated SAGE (Student Achievement Guarantee in Education), a program intended to increase student achievement by reducing K-3 class size to no more than 15 students per teacher. Phased in over five years, beginning in 1996-97, SAGE targeted high-poverty schools and districts.
(Class Size Reduction)
California initiated its Class Size Reduction (CSR) program. Phased in over four years, its purpose was to decrease the population of K-3 classrooms to no more than 20 students per teacher.
Unfortunately, due to budget shortfalls this program did not properly execute the reduction program.
Reducing Class Size?
What does that mean?
It basically means reducing the number of students per classroom
How many students is it considered "reduced" or beneficial?
Researchers and educators alike say 18-20 students per classroom is when data significantly shows an increase in student achievement
How Small is too small?
Researchers say less than 15 students
Muennig, P., & Woolf, S. H. (2007). Health and Economic Benefits of Reducing the Number of Students per Classroom in US Primary Schools. American Journal Of Public Health, 97(11), 2020-2027
Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. (2011, July 1). Issues A-Z: Class Size. Education Week. Retrieved Month Day, Year from http://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/class-size/
How Does Reducing the Class Size increase student achievement?
Group learning is more productive easier to monitor & teachers can encourage each individual child's participation
Student behavior improves
teachers are more aware of students, students recieve more individual attention, & attention-seeking children receive the adult attention they need
Peer relationships between students improves reduced competition for adult competition & grades
Students can focus more not being distracted by behavioral problems
Child safety improves teachers are able to keep track of students & response to emergency drills are quicker & quieter
1st graders showed a 25-30 % higher level of academic achievement than that of their counterparts in larger classes
By the end of the 3rd grade, SAGE students were achieving at a level of 1/3 to 1/2 a year ahead of students in larger classes
Minority and low-income students show more significant gains when placed in small classes in the primary grades
12% increase in high school graduation rate & 18 % in among free-lunch students
Solutions & Problems
Employ more teachers
By employing more teachers, there can be more classes and fewer students per class
Schools have to be able to afford more teachers &
teachers need to be qualified and trained how to get the best out of a small class This all costs money:
Hiring of teachers, training, workshops, professional development
Solutions & Problems
Create more mandatory class size reduction programs
By creating more programs and having it mandatory that schools participate, more classes will be reduced in size
Schools need to have class size reduction program properly funded & planned for. One of the biggest problems that went wrong with CSR (California's program) is that they hadn't budgeted for more classrooms in the schools.
"In the hunt for new space, administrators found themselves carving classrooms out of broom closets and erecting portable classrooms on Playgrounds" -Editorial Projects in Education Research Center
The Ideal Solution & My Opinion
I think with proper funding we should
build more classrooms
hire more qualified teachers
in order to integrate a class reduction program. We should
for the teachers &
better professional development days
where everyone gets the most out of the meetings.
Reducing class size seems significantly beneficial to me. Out of my own experience when I had larger classes it was louder and harder for me to concentrate. Many of the teachers (especially the younger/newer ones) had a hard time controlling the class. Students would miss out on important learning opportunities because of their peers. Also bad behavior would go unnoticed.