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ERIC Number: ED409123
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Effects of Major Changes in Class Size on Teacher-Pupil Interaction in Elementary School Classes in England: Does Research Merely Confirm the Obvious?
Hargreaves, Linda; And Others
Given the failure of previous research to find consistent effects of class size on students' achievement, this study examined whether teachers in British elementary schools changed their behavior in ways conducive to learning when they worked with classes significantly smaller than average. Seven pairs of elementary school teachers judged as experts by their head-teachers participated in the study, one of each pair in a maintained sector school and one in a private sector school. Fourteen teaching sessions were observed in which teachers presented the same or similar lessons in both large (mean class size 28.8) and small (13.6) class settings. Findings indicated that individual attention was positively, though not significantly, related to class size. Sustained interactions, which allowed children time to think and offer extended and reasoned responses to questions, were more often used in smaller classes. Short, nonextended individual teacher-student interactions tended to increase with class size. There were significant positive correlations between class size and teachers' use of general monitoring and engagement in routine management interactions. Task-focused interactions were negatively but not significantly associated with class size. Challenging questions were used more often in smaller classes. Teachers in larger classes tended to use critical control statements more frequently than teachers in smaller classes. Results suggest that since expert teachers were likely to be proficient at adapting strategies to new situations, teachers may need training in strategies which can be applied with small classes. Schools might also consider creating small classes on a regular basis for some lessons. (Contains 16 references.) (Author/KDFB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)