ERIC Number: ED440430
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Capitalizing on Small Class Size. ERIC Digest Number 136.
O'Connell, Jessica; Smith, Stuart C.
This Digest examines school districts' efforts to reap the greatest benefit from smaller classes. Although the report discusses teaching strategies that are most effective in small classes, research has shown that teachers do not significantly change their teaching practices when they move from larger to smaller classes. Smaller classes mean teachers can spend less time on discipline and more time on individualized instruction, yet the key to success in class-size-reduction (CSR) initiatives is high-quality instruction. However, the growing demand for teachers has swelled the ranks of those teachers lacking full credentials, and the report emphasizes the importance of staff development, which should be ongoing, school-based, and geared toward creating a professional community where teachers find out together what works for their students. In addition to a shortage of qualified teachers, CSR has placed a premium on classroom space. Schools have met this challenge by using portables, by remodeling existing spaces, and by reopening closed schools. Smaller schools have various options when using federal funds. Finally, the Digest offers some guidelines on what districts should focus on in class-size policy, including the targeting of money and other resources to minority and low-income students who stand the most to gain from CSR. (Contains 12 references.) (RJM)
Descriptors: Board of Education Policy, Class Size, Educational Facilities, Elementary Secondary Education, Professional Development, Teacher Student Ratio, Teaching Methods
ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, 5207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5207.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, Eugene, OR.