Thursday, July 5, 2012

Class size doesn't matter...

Class size doesn't matter unless you're one of too many kids or the only teacher. When people say class size doesn't matter, they are talking about other people's children.

8 comments:

  1. Class size doesn't matter in research as to the effect of class size on achievement. Why not save all that money on teachers, administrators, support specialists and just have kids plug into Khan videos to get the content skills to excel in tests of achievement? The kids can rewind the video to find the parts they don't get...unless research on class size wants to address 'soft' factors like stress level, emotional support, and conversations personalized to the learner...class size don't matter

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    1. Sheri, the issue is that not every student learns the same way so giving every student a video and saying learn would not be effective across the board. Moreover, schools are also social-psychological settings (sometimes terrible ones). Thus, interaction and support structures are critical to the interpersonal development of students. Also, the factors you mention are not soft, I find your use of that word and scare quotes bizarre. Not to mention that most independent research questions if the achievements tests you use actually measure what you want them to learn from a few videos.

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  2. Class size doesn't matter in research as to the effect of class size on achievement. Why not save all that money on teachers, administrators, support specialists and just have kids plug into Khan videos to get the content skills to excel in tests of achievement? The kids can rewind the video to find the parts they don't get...unless research on class size wants to address 'soft' factors like stress level, emotional support, and conversations personalized to the learner...class size don't matter

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  3. So... what's the right class size? 1:1? Or maybe 1:2, so the two kids have someone to talk to and collaborate with?

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    1. There is no right size, it always depends on the context, age of students, complexity of materials, need for hands on learning, and many other factors. However, if you want to be snarky, look at outcomes of those with access to private tutors in 1:1 or 1:2 settings versus their peers who do not.

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  4. Not really intended to be snarky. I just wonder how small class sizes would have to get before teachers started saying "Our classes are too small, please make them bigger". Maybe the capabilities of the educator has something to do with how many students they can effectively guide as well? Those who have access to private tutors almost always have lots of other factors in their favor that make nailing down 1:1 settings as any sort of factor in their achievement dubious at best.

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  5. It does matter if you have over 30 children, many with learning difficulties and little support.
    my perfect number is 24 or 28..enough to mix in lots of ways but not too many that you can't get round in a session.

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  6. It is harder to disappear in a crowed of 20 than 40, 60, 80, 100, 120 and so on.

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