Want Results? How about smaller class sizes?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Tyler B., May 19, 2015.

  1. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    May 19, 2015

    A new report explores the connection between smaller class sizes and student learning.

    The smaller class sizes work best when proven reforms are included. These proven reforms include:
    Giving teachers adequate training
    Providing adequate resources for the smaller classes
    Services that address the non-academic needs of the students

    This seems like such an obvious way to reform high poverty schools.

    If someone tells you class size doesn't matter, you can send them to this report.
     
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  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    May 19, 2015

    I agree with smaller class sizes.

    When our district got rid of class size reduction, literally 15 seconds after the budget was passed, here is what our asst. sup said.

    And I quote "It is not class size that makes learning easier, it is student engagement"........

    Safe to say, some respect was lost for that asst. sup.
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    May 19, 2015

    "Student engagement" is a phrase that annoys me. I agree classes should be engaging, but I find that the phrase is used when other issues aren't being properly addressed:

    We don't need technology in the classroom -
    Class sizes don't matter -
    These students don't actually have behavior problems - ...

    - Just increase student engagement!

    .......

    Also, I absolutely support lowering class sizes. I am glad to see studies that support it.
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    May 19, 2015

    Actually this has been tried. I wish, I wish, I wish it worked. What happened is millions and millions of dollars were shifted from teacher raises and other areas and put towards reducing class sizes. Few or no gains were showed except for areas that had very large class sizes (such as over 30 students). A bit of this was in the book by the famous author Malcolm Gladwell. (His research in his books is well documented). I believe he published some of this in his book called David and Goliath.
     
  6. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    May 19, 2015

    I agree. My smaller classes provide a totally different experience. I form better relationships with my students and we work better together as a group. I feel more relaxed, and that probably means the kids feel more relaxed as well. Overall, I think it is a HUGE factor in student (and teacher) success.
     
  7. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    May 20, 2015

    I agree, they want student engagement give me a smaller class adn the student engagement will go up......the atmosphere in the room changes......imo.

    How engaged is anyone in a large group setting...meeting, training, class etc???????? It is a no brainer.:dizzy:
     
  8. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    May 20, 2015

    I think that enough schools have class sizes of over 30 that lowering class sizes is still valid.

    I recall one particular study that indicated that lower classes weren't helpful, but the "large" classes had 28 students and the "small" classes had 24 students. I agree that this may not have a difference, but changing the class size from 36 to 20 will probably be significant.

    At the middle school level, I taught very large classes, and one of the biggest issues we had was just the room being crowded. With 38 students, I didn't have enough desks, room for 38 desks even if they had been provided, and group/station work was chaotic and very loud. While having a bigger classroom may solve some of the problem, I don't think the district is going to build a new school any time soon, so that's what we were stuck with.
     
  9. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    May 20, 2015

    There is a lot in the initial post. More than just class reduction was done. Teasing out the critical changes when there is a list of major changes becomes difficult to know which change really made the difference.

    Just reducing class sizes doesn't produce large gains, but as Tyler reported, it was much more than just smaller classes. The idea of reducing class sizes not working in response to this potential solution that involves many facets reminds me of when people claim a researched program didn't work at their school. When questioning more deeply you find that the teachers weren't really trained properly or they chose to not use the program as designed in some manner whether that be not giving the provided time allotment, not providing individual/small group intervention, not implementing all portions of the program because they don't agree with them, or other changes and then claim the program doesn't work.

    I believe that if this experiment did produce gains, class size reduction was just a small piece to that puzzle.
     
  10. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    May 20, 2015

    My school was the lowest performing in the district. We got a grant to take classes from 32 to 20 for 5 years. Now we are the highest performing. Unfortunately pur grant is ending and we are going up next year to 24.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We are in the midst of contract negotiations (after having been without a contract since the end of August 2014). One of the main sticking points, that has brought negotiations almost to a standstill, is the intent to remove all language regarding class size from our collective agreement. Now, we do have hard caps of 20 in grades 1-3 and most classes are below 30 in the other grades. The teachers have serious concerns about what will happen if those numbers are allowed to increase.
     
  12. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    May 20, 2015

    My school is committed to small classes - we cap out at 15, but most of our classes are closer to 9 or 10. It has a HUGE impact on student achievement. We are an "at-risk" school for high school kids who get at least 1 grade level behind their peers. We teach the same required curriculum and with a lot of the same strategies, and our kids excel here in a way they never could on their traditional campuses. Is there more to it? Absolutely. But would we see the same results with even 5 more kids in our class? I don't think so. Class sizes matter!
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 20, 2015

    I agree. At my school, 30 students would constitute a "small" class. My smallest has 34 or so. At the beginning of the year, I had classes of 50+. Another teacher in my department had 6 classes of 56 students each. This wasn't a PE class or anything, just a regular foreign language class.
     
  14. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    May 20, 2015

    Our district is trying to pull this on us, as well. Along with not having had a COLA since 2008 or so...
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Same here. In our case, it isn't just district, but province-wide.
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    May 20, 2015

    I agree completely that 38 students is too many. I think if reducing class sizes from schools that clearly have very large classes (over 30) than I agree that it can be a good thing.
     
  17. Ashoksahu

    Ashoksahu Rookie

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    May 29, 2015

    15 students in one class and the sitting arrangement should be in such a way so that every student be on the first table.
     

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