ERIC Number: ED202136
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
The Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement. A Review of the Literature.
South Carolina State Dept. of Education, Columbia.
For years the issue of class size has been the subject of hundreds of educational research studies. The effects of class size on student achievement, student and teacher attitudes, instructional setting, and total classroom environment have been examined and re-examined. In general, the findings of these studies have been inconclusive, though for every study supporting the efficacy of large classes, two favor small classes. Those studies revealing no effect on achievement due to class size are based almost entirely on measures of cognitive learning, while those that find class size significant measure other areas of growth as well, such as mental health, problem solving skills, and aesthetic, personal, and creative development. For the most part, class size is only one variable among a number of important variables affecting learning. These include student and teacher characteristics, the instructional program and its goals, the subject matter being taught, the reasons for altering class size, and economic factors. Much of the research on class size is methodologically weak and should be evaluated in its own right before its results are accepted. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: South Carolina State Dept. of Education, Columbia.