Classroom Size and Student Success
by wburg1 on December 6, 2014 - 11:55pm
There are many factors that weigh a heavy influence on a student’s academic success. Sleep, time management, and teacher selection are just a few. But in college, not all of these things are easy to satisfy. And when it comes to choosing classes, these things are often priorities. But one of the things that most students don’t consider when choosing a class is the amount of learners are also in the class with them. This is a major factor and its importance has not gone unnoticed.
It is no secret that the more the student is able to interact with the teacher, the more beneficial it is to the student and to the rest of the class. So if there are less students in a class room, the better off it is for the students chances to succeed. Some states have even gone as far as setting a limit on the amount of students that are allowed in a classroom. Each student is different and therefore classroom size would affect them differently. This is how internet classes became about and effective. It allows for students to not have to worry about getting up to go to a lecture hall with hundreds of students that commit acts of small talk that can be distracting. It is especially important, though, for students to interact with each other even when the class is online. Student interaction is important to be able to learn from their peers instead of just listening to the ideas of one individual as in their teacher.
The biggest issue with this is the amount of funding that would have to happen. It is estimated that it would take about 2 billion to 11 billion dollars to make this a nation-wide change. This is a large amount of money but if it becomes a focus then I believe it is possible. With the amount of people aspiring to be teachers this is definitely something that could happen and would be a huge benefit for everyone.
Class size also affects the way teachers go about teaching. For example, a smaller class should result in more individualized work. This means students will get direct feedback from the teacher and therefore be better able to correct their mistakes. This also makes it more personal between the teacher and the student. They can now learn from each other in the ways that one teaches or the way one learns and adjust accordingly. A teacher can look for patterns in a students learning and work to set their teaching plans in ways that would most directly impact a student’s chance of retaining the information.
Hoxby, C. M. (2000). The effects of class size on student achievement: New evidence from population variation. Quarterly Journal of economics, 1239-1285.
Brewer, D. J., Krop, C., Gill, B. P., & Reichardt, R. (1999). Estimating the cost of national class size reductions under different policy alternatives. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 21(2), 179-192.