Limitation of Small Class Size of elementary education
University of Macau
Limitation on Small Class Size of elementary education
Whether different class size may affect the teaching outcome in education field has been discussed over past decades and currently most scholars believe small class size can bring students more benefits. Based on the study on teacher and student relationship, the result indicates that in small class size student tend to have more individual interaction with teacher in and out class (Blatchford, Bassett & Brown, 2005). Whereas, from the result scholars cannot simply draw the conclusion that small class size is able to directly result in better academic performance. In fact, elementary education students (primary and secondary school students) may not increase their learning achievement when the class size is reduced, especially on the following three aspects: on-task behavior, knowledge acquisition and peer interaction. As an important part of student learning experience, the on-task behavior of student cannot increase with the reduction of class size. When students have more on-task behaviors, they will have more participation and pay more attention on teacher’s instruction, which might help them to achieve preferable academic performance. However, from one research done by Blatchford, Bassett and Brown (2005) targeting at more than 200 elementary students who were arranged to average 25 students’ small classes and average 31 students’ large classes, the scholars discovered that there was no significant difference on student’s on-task behavior between different class size. Put differently, small class size cannot stimulate students to have more on-task behaviors, so it is difficult to enlarge the possibility of reaching a superior student learning experience in the small classes. Another experiment took place in France by Ecalle, Magnan and Gibert (2006) can answer which elements have more...
References: Betts, J. R., & Shkolnik, J. L. (1999). The behavioral effects of variations in class size: The case of math teachers. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 21(2), 193-213.
Blatchford, P. (2003). A systematic observational study of teachers’ and pupils’ behaviour in large and small classes. Learning and Instruction, 13, 569-595. doi: 10.1016/S0959-4752(02)00043-9
Blatchford, P., Bassett, P., & Brown, P. (2005). Teachers ' and pupils ' behavior in large and small classes: A systematic observation study of pupils aged 10 and 11 years. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97(3), 454-467.
Blatchford, P., Edmonds, S., & Martin, C. (2003). Class size, pupil attentiveness and peer relations. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 73(1), 15-36.
Ecalle, J., Magnan, A., & Gibert, F. (2006). Class size effects on literacy skills and literacy interest in first grade: A large-scale investigation. Journal of School Psychology, 44, 191-209. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2006.03.002
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