Classroom Size Does Matter
How would you feel if you were crammed in a classroom with forty other kids being lectured by a professor who has never even talked to you? How much learning are you actually engaged in? Can you honestly say you learned everything you were taught in that course? Or, did you feel like just another student who was there to fill a seat? Many people, including myself, have experienced something like this. It is hard to be engaged and enlightened in a class you don’t talk in or ask questions in due to the large size of that particular class. I dread going to these classes and count down the minutes until I can leave the room. Class size plays a major role in how much education or how good of an education a student will receive.
When a student is enrolled in a smaller sized classroom, there is a greater chance of having an opportunity to have one-on-one time with the teacher. This will allow room for more academic achievement and the availability to succeed. As a student begins to feels more comfortable talking to the teacher or in class, it creates more of an opportunity for a student to succeed. The students have a confidence to ask the teacher questions that they have. Having the confidence to get help and ask a teacher a questions is one of the first steps to doing well in the classroom. In an article from USA Today, Adam Gamoran of the University of Wisconsin-Madison says, “Small classes are more engaging places for students because they’re able to have a more personal connection with teachers, simply by virtue of the fact that there are fewer kids in the classroom competing for that teacher’s attention.” When a student needs help in these smaller sized classes, they are able to receive it and thrive off of it. As I said earlier, they then begin to create a sense of confidence and aren’t so scared to ask for help from their teacher anymore.
In smaller classes, more students have more confidence to participate in group discussions, answer or ask questions in class, and share their own opinions. According to More than a Number: Why Class Size Matters, “Reduced class size provides students with many benefits: greater opportunities for participation, greater individual attention, and improved instruction…class size does indeed have a major impact on student achievement, behavior, and attention.” In a smaller sized classroom, a student isn’t afraid to raise his or her hand to ask a question. If they have a question, they will ask that question without thinking twice about it. A student is now more concerned about understanding what they are learning rather than being worried about asking a question in front of the class. From personal experience, I have a class of 65 students and then I have a class of 17 students. In the classroom that has only 17 students, I am more apt to speak out and ask a question in class. In the class of 65 students, almost everyone has the urge to get the help they need from our professor, but no one usually talks in class. I think that it is due to this sense of being scared to discuss or ask questions in class because of how large the classroom size is.
In large classes, many students find it really hard to pay attention and stay engaged because they are so unfocused and uninterested. Many times there are students who just show up to class, do the homework, take the test, and pass the class. How much are they actually learning though? In smaller classrooms, there are chances for a professor or teacher to make sure that everyone knows and understands what they are learning. This is important for academic achievement because it allows the student to reach to his or her goals of learning. You don’t want to take a class just to take it and get it over with. That is not learning. Learning is being enlightened and engaged in your work and fully understanding what you are being taught. When you remember and comprehend what you were taught, that is learning.
As the controversial of education reform is still going on, I still believe the classroom size argument is one of the most important topics. Classroom size can determine whether you receive the help you need, whether you reach to your potential as a student, or whether you do well in school. Smaller class sizes allow you to achieve academic achievement, have one-on-one time with your teacher or professor, and have a confidence to ask or answer questions if need be.