Friday, September 9, 2011

Class size matters

"If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job."

~ Donald Quinn

While its true that smaller class sizes alone may not be sufficient in increasing student learning, it is absolutely necessary.

And to make sure that senior administrators, school board trustees, policy makers and politicians remember this, their offices and places of work should be housed inside of schools.


  1. I couldn't agree more. It is humanly impossible for a teacher (one individual) to properly educate a classroom crammed full of children. It's not fair to either party, everyone loses.

  2. I also agree Joe, I am a primary teacher in Sydney Australia. This week I had 8 students out of class on a special gifted and talented day. This left me with only 12 students during one particular math lesson. The engagement and learning that took place during that hour was a joy to witness. And one I wish I could replicate every day.

  3. In my experience leading homeschool classes and adult classes, the best interaction takes place with about 12 people in the group. If a class must be larger than 12 people, then it is essential to break into small groups frequently in order to keep interaction alive, otherwise, what one gets is a talking head/nodding head scenario.

  4. Absolutely agree.... this year I have 20 students by some stroke of luck in a Grade 7 classroom... down from the average of 29-30 each year, and the learning so far has been amazing. We're very early into the year, but I know already that there are much greater amounts of time available to me to meet individual needs as compared to other years.

  5. According to the DI ( direct instruction) folks class size does not matter - all you need is the perfect script and perfect discipline


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