Friday, September 25, 2009

smaller class size leads to child success

Yesterday there as an interview article on NPR about class size and success. Those of us who teach know that small classes are more effective, but in times of recession, administrators will cut budgets and cram students into classrooms beyond the capacity of teachers to know their students and their needs. The interview is with Dr. Jeremy Finn, State University of New York, Buffalo. Listen or read the transcript: Professor: Smaller Class Sizes Optimal For Kids.
BRAND: How is student behavior different in small class sizes?

Dr. FINN: It's because every student is on what I would call the firing line. You can't hide in the back corner of the room. Students are better behaved. They pay more attention. They support each other in learning more, and their - definitely, their achievement scores go up. Furthermore, it's been shown that for children who were in small classes for three or four years, graduation from high school is more likely. Taking college entrance exams is more likely. So these early grades of small classes have long-lasting effects.
If we really cared about our children we would invest more in them. If we really cared about American society and culture, we would readily invest more in our children by having much smaller class sizes and hands-on craft centered learning. After all,
"What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon it destroys our democracy." - John Dewey

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