ERIC Number: ED330114
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
The Impact of Class Size on Teaching and Learning. A Position Paper.
New York State School Boards Association, Albany.
Hoping to inspire greater cooperation among local school boards, administrators, teachers, and state officials, this paper reviews class size research and analyzes effective instructional methods and student learning related to class size issues. The New York State Board of Regents should not standardize class size, since standardization undercuts local options and school building leadership, curtails district flexibility in implementing mandated improvements, and undermines teacher professionalism. Small classes cannot by themselves influence learning; policy should account for numerous factors, including teacher attitudes and expectations, subject matter taught, instructional methods used, and student age. Financial demands and public accountability must be balanced against the ideal of small class size. Promising methods to obtain the effects of small classes without appreciably increasing staff size should be considered, including cross-age and peer tutoring, developmental programs, learning centers, pull-out programs, split scheduling, subject matter grouping, and team teaching. Increasing time spent on academic learning is an important goal. Policy and practice must focus on promoting extensive subject matter coverage, achieving a high individual success rate, and active involvement in instructional tasks. Staff development may be the single most important method to alter patterns of student achievement. Adequate training in small-group methods is also desirable. (20 references) (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New York State School Boards Association, Albany.
Identifiers: Empowerment; New York; Professionalism