Size Really Does Matter
Why should classes be reduced to fewer than 20 students per room? I believe that when you have fewer students per room then the student has more of a chance to succeed in the class itself. I think that the students are more capable of getting to know their fellow class mates well enough to work together to get homework done or even to form friendships.
With fewer than 20 students, the students get a chance to get to know their teacher and have a good relationship with them to where they won’t be afraid to ask them questions. In an experiment by Smith and Glass, it proves that class size and achievement are linked. The less students to a class room the more likely the students were to achieving their goal. When the classes had fewer than 20 students per class (with all grades) the students did a lot better in that section of education. Classes with fewer students in it, gave the students easier contact with the teacher, and with a smaller class size the closer they get to the teacher.
When the teacher and student relationship grows it improves the learning capability in the student itself. The student doesn’t feel so afraid to go talk to the teacher because you can talk to the teacher in class and have a group discussion on it, where in a large class the students are more afraid to raise their hand to get the answer they are looking for because of how the other students will view them. The students feel more comfortable with fewer students because they all get to know one another and trust that one won’t make fun of the other for asking questions. In 1986 Robinson and Wittebols conducted a study on the class size achievement. Their results showed that with the class size smaller it helps with the disadvantaged and minority students because they don’t feel separated and pointed out. They feel like they belong and that they have a place in the class that no one can take away. They also proved that the teachers themselves need to change their plans for teaching. If they get a smaller class size, but they keep their curriculum the way it was for the larger class then it will be pointless.
The teachers need to fix their curriculum in order for the smaller classes to work. Kimberley Pressick-Kilborn says “As a teacher, I think my students would benefit from my continued professional learning as well as a smaller class.” She also says, “More time to tailor learning to the needs of individuals or small groups, less time spent marking, more time to plan creative and stimulating learning experiences.” They need to make the plans more personal, so that in the classroom they will be able to have a discussion and the whole class can be involved. I know in my classes that are smaller my fellow students and I enjoy when our class has discussions and everyone gets to share their input on the matter at hand. I know it helps me learn more and in an easier way. I think that when I talk about the subject and get all my questions out and answered I then know all the information and not just bits and pieces of it. I like knowing that I won’t be questioning myself later and I can go back to my room and know what to study and feel confident in myself to know it for the test and even if it isn’t on the test itself.
I think that when teachers encourage a class room discussion that it helps the students be more open and to be able to enjoy the class more. According to David Harris “Encouraging pupils to think, solve problems, be creative and express themselves confidently is crucial, and it is self-evident that this is best achieved with smaller groups.” According to research it was also found that if in the earlier years of school, like kindergarten to like fourth grade, it is especially important to have smaller classes because it improves the students learning ability and boosts their achievement later in life. So I think schools should take this, especially in elementary schools, and use it. If we start having smaller groups in younger classrooms then maybe it will start a new trend and show everyone how it has affected the students and helped them.
So in conclusion, smaller classes sizes are the way to go. If students benefit more from it and are able to understand the material they are learning better then why not try to help them. I say we should be wanting our future generations smarter and more outgoing, so we should start now with smaller classes to help get the students less afraid and more willing when it comes to school and learning the information.