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ERIC Number: ED455608
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Nov
Pages: 57
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Varieties of Small Classes and Their Outcomes.
Achilles, C. M.; Finn, J. D.
The federal class-size-reduction initiative and programs such as Wisconsin's Project SAGE (Student Achievement Guarantee in Education) provide funds for a variety of "small-class models," including intact small classes with one teacher, team-taught classes with 30 or more students and 2 full-time teachers, "push-in" or "pull-out" classes with 25-30 students and an additional teacher who works with small groups of students for part of the school day, and other options. The latter models change the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR), but not the actual class size (CS). This paper summarizes the research evidence regarding achievement outcomes under these different arrangements, and compares the evidence of PTR and CS generally. The paper concludes with five major recommendations. Research studies on PTR and CS are both useful, but should proceed on separate tracks since the treatments, variables, and processes in PTR and CS are not the same. A strong effort should be made to educate all relevant interested parties (such as parents, researchers, the media) on the differences between PTR and CS. The U.S. Department of Education must be an advocate for the correct implementation of CS and for the dissemination of documents and information on PTR and CS that use the terms explicitly. Evaluators and researchers should document carefully the contexts in which students are educated so that issues of PTR and CS are evident. Some "ideal" implementations of CS need to be studied and evaluated so that there begins to be a substantial body of CS research data, where the event described is actually CS, not PTR or some combination of the two. Two tables, Teaching Activities in a Small Class (K. Schwengel, 2000), and Much Research Starts from Clinical Observation (J. Prout et al), including three figures are appended. (Contains 12 references.) (Authors/PKP)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Cited: ED495725; ED496550