Class Size and Its Impact on Students’ Achievement
Class size has been discussed extensively in the literature due to pioneering studies conducted by several scholars in states and countries addressing the issue of student academic achievement. The primary locus of their study had centered on the question of which provides the better academic achievement- the smaller or larger class. The two sides had provided evidences on their claims. This proposed study aims to contribute to the literature by proposing a study on class size and its impact on student achievement. The purpose of this proposed study is to examine the current research regarding the relationship of class size to student achievement in education and test this hypothesis on a specific school. Schools with different class sizes shall be examined and evaluated and compare the students’ academic achievement with their previous performance using their academic history. Furthermore, this proposed study shall use a minimum of six classrooms with varying sizes in testing the hypothesis that class size affects students’ academic achievement. Moreover, I shall also consider the possibility that other variables such as potential grade inflation, lower academic standards, student aptitude and readiness for college work, lack of remediation for ill-prepared and disadvantaged students, student learning styles, instructors' teaching styles, and student motivation and effort will also be examined as it can be a factor in the academic achievement of students. A pretest-posttest strategy will be used in this study as was used by Kennedy and Siegfried (1997) to examine the influence of class size on achievement while holding constant a variety of factors thought to influence learning such as student ability and study hours. This study shall utilize a minimum of six classrooms with randomly selected students, consolidating these data so that each observation represents a class rather than a single student, thereby reducing estimation problems. Classes will be chosen as units of observation because (a) using student observations would give larger class sizes a heavier weight in the analysis, and (b) many of the explanatory variables such as SAT scores measuring ability and self-reported hours spent studying contain substantial measurement errors, whereas averaging has the benefit of reducing the influence of measurement errors. Background of the Problem
Researchers have long investigated whether smaller classes improve student achievement. Their conclusions suggest that class size reduction (CSR) can result in greater in-depth coverage of subject matter by teachers, enhanced learning and stronger engagement by students, more personalized relationships between teachers and students, and safer schools with fewer discipline problems (Cohen, Miller, Stonehill, & Geddes, 2000; Hertling, Leonard, Lumsden, & Smith, 2000; Thompson & Cunningham, 2001). Montagna and Toth (2002) in their review of literature concluded that there is a scarcity of literature dealing with class size and academic achievement. They further assert that it is clear that more statistically and methodologically powerful studies need to be conducted if there is to be any insight into this issue. Another suggestion is to consider additional factors that may be confounding the issue of class size and achievement. For example, Noble (2000), in examining the assumptions about the possible cause-effect relationship between class size and student achievement, also focused on areas related to the improvement of student achievement. These areas include (a) student aptitude and readiness for undergraduate and graduate school education, (b) remediation for ill-prepared and educationally disadvantaged students, (c) an understanding of learning styles and processes as well as teaching styles and mind-leading skills, (d) student motivation and effort, and (e) widespread grade inflation and the "watering...
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