ERIC Number: ED478538
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Class Size and Effects: A Review. Fastback 497.
Fleming, Thomas; Toutant, Tara; Raptis, Helen
This document summarizes the major studies published on class size and composition for the period 1900-96. It begins by examining the various indices that catalogue research on class size and also looks at those that provide abstracts of published articles, monographs, and government documents. These indices were used to compile a select bibliography with special emphasis on the period 1975-95, which seems to be representative of research as a whole. A content analysis of these documents, along with an ethnographic assessment, yield insights on the principal features of the research, as well as patterns. The study found that questions about class size and composition have been explored since the early 1900s, a time when urban classrooms often accommodated 60 students and one-room rural schools were commonplace. Over the decades the debate over class-size effects has continued, with several positions becoming evident. Some researchers believe that class size neither enhances nor diminishes academic achievement, whereas others have found that relationships do exist between class size and student outcomes. Much of the research focuses on student achievement, with few studies addressing student and teacher attitudes. Unfortunately, less than half of the research on class size and composition is methodologically sound and statistically valid. (Contains 55 references.) (RJM)
Descriptors: Class Size, Educational Policy, Educational Strategies, Elementary Secondary Education, Literature Reviews, Summative Evaluation, Teacher Student Ratio
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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