Problems of Overcrowded Classrooms at Elementary Level

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Class Size
and
Its Effect on Academic Achievement

Maria O’Regan
ED 7201
Professor O’Connor-Petruso
Fall 2011

Table of Contents

AbstractX
Introduction3
• Statement of the Problem4
• Review of Related Literature5-9
• Statement of the Hypothesis10

MethodX
• ParticipantsX
• InstrumentsX
• Experimental DesignX
• ProcedureX

ResultsX
DiscussionX
ImplicationsX
References11-13
AppendixX

Introduction

The population of students in one classroom with one teacher is at an all time high. With overcrowded classrooms and only one teacher in the room, the ability for a teacher to individually help each student or a percentage of the class is difficult (Bassett, Blatchford, Goldstein, & Martin, 2003). Children in today’s classroom are not getting the necessary attention they need in order to progress and advance in their education. It has been said that, "Class size is one of the variables in American K-12 education that is thought to influence student learning” (Borland, Howsen, & Trawick, 2005). However if class sizes are increasing rapidly how can a students learning be positively influenced? This question is the reason why it has been said that students in smaller class sizes 13-17 have a greater chance of academic achievement. (Finn & Achilles, 2003).

Statement of the Problem

With overcrowding becoming very common in today’s classrooms, students are not receiving the necessary attention in order to succeed in their academics. In PS X, two Pre-Kindergarten classes have different class sizes as well as different student to teacher ratio. The two classes have the same curriculum and same materials in order for the teacher(s) to conduct the exact same lessons. However, with different student to teacher ratios in the two classes the students in the smaller class are benefiting from the teacher to student ratio of 1:7 as opposed to the larger class of 2:21. When the students are tested through the same math and language arts test, the students in the smaller class will possibly have benefited more from the individual attention they were receiving due to small class size.

Review of Related Literature

With class size rapidly growing, many may wonder are students getting the necessary attention they need from the teacher, while gaining knowledge to further their education. The topic of increasing class size has caused for much research to see if there is any effect in having smaller class sizes. Reducing class size to increase academic achievement is a policy option currently of great interest. (Hedges, Konstantopoulos, & Nye, 2001) Class-size reduction (CSR) has become a popular and controversial topic among a lot of different people. (Gamoran & Milesi, 2006). Everyone from researchers, teachers' unions, policymakers, and politicians have debated the benefits and costs of reducing class size while hoping to show positive effects on student achievement (Gamoran & Milesi, 2006). The top and largest designed experiment in the study class size is Tennessee’s Project STAR (Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio), (Krueger, 2003). According to the Harvard statistician Frederick Mosteller (1995), Project STAR “is one of the most important educational investigations ever carried out and illustrates the kind and magnitude of research needed in the field of education to strengthen schools.” STAR research has been said to be one of the few large-scale randomized experiments in education as well as being effective. Project STAR has been given significant creditability and is said to be "one of the great experiments in education in U.S. history" (Mosteller, Light, & Sachs, 1996). With my action research...
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