Small class sizes not better for pupils' grades or resilience, says study

Discussion in 'Education' started by Eclectic, Mar 10, 2024.

  1. Eclectic

    Eclectic Newly Registered

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    Data on more than 2,700 disadvantaged secondary (high) school students shows that minimizing pupil numbers in classrooms does not lead to better grades. Reducing class sizes could even decrease the odds of children achieving the best results, say the study authors.

    The quantity of teachers also does not increase the odds of pupils from the poorest backgrounds achieving academically, despite concerns over staff shortages in schools.

    Instead, the researchers say that resilience is guaranteed by the quality of teachers such as those with high discipline standards and who use their expertise to improve learning.


    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2024/03/240308123326.htm

    Although this study is about China and Japan, it is probably generally applicable. In a larger classroom the teacher must enforce order and attention to prevent chaos. In a smaller classroom, there is more tendency to get involved in informal one-to-one communication, which can easily get out of hand and lead to a chaotic learning environment.
     
  2. Chrizton

    Chrizton Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the secret is smaller classrooms and harkness tables. Works for Phillips Exeter.
     
  3. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That's hilarious. I was shaking my head willing to agree with you until you came to this last part. China and Japan ARE NOT like the people in other societies. There are some very big differences, and these Asian students study a lot on their own and put themselves under a lot of pressure.

    This study suggests a possibility that it MIGHT be applicable to other countries, but I think it's way too big of a jump to assume that it probably is.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2024
  4. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    I can look back at my class pictures from elementary school in the 50's and 60's and count 30 - 40 students in a class and in fourth grade we had double sessions where half when to school on the morning and half in the afternoon.

    And guess what, we all got good solid educations and could read and write and do math and knew science and history. When I went to high school in my chemistry class some of us had to sit on the tables because there weren't enough desk yet we still learned chemistry.
     
  5. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    Same with early education. The government's own massive study showed that by the third grade there was no educational difference in attainment between children who went to HeadStart and those who did not and one could not predict by their individual achievements which had. Yet try to cut that funding and better spend it elsewhere and you would get shouted down as a CHILD HATER!!!


    Head Start Earns an F: No Lasting Impact for Children by First Grade

    Abstract: Recently released results from the Head Start Impact Study indicate that the benefits of participating in Head Start almost completely disappear by first grade. While other studies have previously assessed Head Start's effectiveness, this is the only study that used a rigorous experimental design. Given this strongly negative evaluation, Congress should reconsider spending more than $9 billion per year on a program that produces few positive lasting effects. Furthermore, instead of creating yet another new federal preschool program at a cost of $8 billion, Congress and the Obama Administration should focus on terminating, consolidating, and reforming existing preschool and child care programs to better serve children's needs and to improve efficiency for taxpayers.

    https://www.heritage.org/education/report/head-start-earns-f-no-lasting-impact-children-first-grade
     
  6. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    There have been some big demographic (and cultural) changes in American society. Today almost none of the schools have chemistry classes, because too many of the children have disciplinary problems and lack self control, and would probably pour acid onto other students. It's a very different world today in American public schools than it was in the 1940s.

    Same thing with guns. Many schools in the 1940s used to have shooting classes. Can you imagine that in many public schools today? We know what would happen, and how that could never happen.
     
  7. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    What's changed the children or the adults. How did this decline in discipline come about what changed? Maybe we hire fewer teachers and more security guards.
     
  8. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That would be another long discussion. But things have changed, probably irreversibly.
     
  9. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    But a KEY discussion towards the topic.
     

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