Sunday, October 9, 2011

Does class size matter?

New Zealand secondary school teachers are looking to make class size an election issue through their union, the PPTA.  This is an interesting issue, as John Hattie has done research that, in his findings, place little emphasis on class size as a contributor to student learning.

My feelings are that John Hattie is only right if teaching is seen as a lecture, in which the teacher stands at the front of the class, with little personal interaction with individual students.  However, teaching is more than that; teaching is about building personal relationships with each and every student, finding out what makes them tick.

There is also that fact that the more students there are, the more out of class work that is required.  There is a big difference between writing 32 reports compared to 24 students, or marking books, reading essays, checking homework, and so much more.

So well done to the PPTA.  Good luck with this issue; hopefully it will lead to smaller classes and increased learning outcomes for students.

To read the article from the New Zealand Herald re the issue of class size, click here.

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