ERIC Number: ED419288
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Success Starts Small (SSS): A Study of Reduced Class Size in Primary Grades of a Fully Chapter-1 Eligible School.
Achilles, C. M.; Kiser-Kling, Karen; Aust, Ann; Owen, Jean
As poverty, dysfunctional families, and special needs continue to affect students, educators seek improved ways to start children in formal education. One such approach is to lower the teacher-to-pupil ratios, and recent research shows that this method positively influences pupil achievement. How the process works is not well understood. To fill this gap in knowledge, an examination of how teachers teach in these classrooms is provided in this report. The study describes life in a primary-grade classroom (with a low teacher-pupil ratio) in a fully Chapter 1-eligible school. Procedures for the research included interviews, structured classroom observations, informal classroom visitations, and the comparison of project school processes with research, other small-class settings, and"regular" or non-small settings. The focus was on first grade results, with comparisons offered for kindergarten and second grade. Findings show that comparisons of the pre- and post-observations of teachers indicated few observed changes in their behaviors following inservice activities. However, teachers in small classes demonstrated high levels of individualized instruction and minimal discipline problems. Factors such as space and materials facilitated instruction, and pretests and posttests indicated that students' performance in the small classes (n=14) were significantly better than those in the larger (n=23) classes. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).