Class Size and Success
Identification of Topic:
Class size and student success.
This paper will analyze the effects of reducing class-size or the number of students per class in students’ learning success. Justification for choosing this topic:
An important issue to identify is the ideal number of students per class, categorizing the positive impacts if the ideal class size is met. How can a teacher effectively utilize his/her abilities to teach if the class size in not appropriate. In addition, what are the negative impacts for students in classes where class size is not taken into consideration by the administration and local governments?
This topic is significant to the field of education because of recent studies conducted which reveal that class-size also affects the successful learning outcome of the students. (Bruner, 1996) In addition, downsizing of our current economy continues to ask educators to do more with less; even at the cost of increasing our classes to the point of negating the educational merit of the courses being taught. In this paper I will analyze the effects of reducing class-size or the number of students per class in students’ learning. We need to identify the ideal number of students per class, categorizing the positive impacts if the ideal-class size is met. In addition, how will the psychological, physiological and intellectual state of the student if the ideal class-size is exceeded. Last, what does current research state regarding government initiatives to reduce or increase the number of students per class? Author’s Personal Thoughts:
As an educator, I feel that class size makes a great difference in a student’s ability to learn, focus and feel self confident about learning. According to an education week Survey conducted, revealed that 83% of teachers and 60% of principals agree that there is an ideal class size and that it should not exceed 17 total number of students, particularly in the elementary level (Edwards, 1997) It is imperative that we take the politics out of our class rooms and put back academic merit and accountability and stop the insanity of super sizing our classrooms to the point you can no longer teach relevant material due to the fact you are to busy trying to keep a firm grasp of your class. Education suffers significantly when it becomes a back burner issue. Relationship of Topic to Author’s Specialization:
My Capella specialization is in higher education leadership, and I am an Instructor at a small Community College where our classes have doubled over the past five years due to budget cuts. With my specialization and current position my career goal is to help the appropriate governing bodies realize that class size matters not only for academic merit but for student success. The administration keeps telling us we have to do more with less. However, going from an average of 18-25 in a class to over 40 students per class has made a huge impact on student success. I realize other four year institutions have 200 plus students per class, however, the intent of this paper is to focus on K-12 and the Community College.
Bruner, J (1996). The culture of Education, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edwards, V.B., ed. School climate. Education Week (January 22, 1997) 16, 17 (supplement): 48. Retrieved on line February 2012 at http://www.edweek.org