Essay on The Pros and Cons of Small Class Size

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Research Paper: The Different Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Class Size

Identifying Issues Regarding Class Size

There has been a lot of controversy lately about how a decrease in the number of kids in the classrooms and could change how well a child performs in his/her schoolwork. Many researchers believe that a small class size will have a positive effect on class achievement, but other researchers have found that reducing class size has no advantage at all. For example, Ivor Pritchard from the National Institute on Student Achievement, Curriculum and Assessment says “reducing class size will increase costs without producing substantial benefits”(1999). From this example, it can be seen that there have been many sources
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In Tennessee’s Student-Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) project of 1997, small class size meant having thirteen to seventeen students in a class (National Education Association). At a national level, the “U.S. Department of Education's new Class Size Reduction Program [wanted] to reduce class size in grades one through three to a national average of 18 students.” (Hopkins, 1999). William Harms defines a regular-sized class as a class of twenty-two to twenty-six students(2001). Based on these definitions, a large class can be assumed to be a class with more than twenty-six students.

Advantages of Small Class Sizes

Researchers have found that there are many different advantages to having a small class. Some researchers and teachers will even say that “smaller classes are a key ingredient in student success” (Weingarten, 2003).

Research projects such as Tennessee’s STAR have found that a reduction in class size will produce a variety of benefits for teachers and students. Small classes impact not only students’ academic achievements, but they also benefit students’ social skills and relationships with their teachers.

One example of an advantage for a small class is that struggling students can receive more individual help from the classroom teacher. Because there will be less students in a class with one teacher, the teacher is better able to direct her attention and help to specific students. For example, a first grade

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