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ERIC Number: ED573360
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 1-896660-44-4
Reducing Class Size: What Do We Know?
Bascia, Nina
Canadian Education Association
This report provides an overview of findings from the research on primary class size reduction as a strategy to improve student learning. Its purpose is to provide a comprehensive and balanced picture of a very popular educational reform strategy that has often been seen as a "quick fix" for improving students' opportunities to learn in schools. The report draws from a comprehensive review of the body of research on class size reduction in Canada and the United States, describes recent Canadian trends in class size reduction, and identifies the major findings and conclusions from a recent study of Ontario's Primary Class Size Reduction (PCS) initiative. Concentrating on the Ontario initiative, the report describes the policy context that gave rise to primary class size reduction and the province's implementation strategy. It summarizes the impact of primary class size reduction on teaching and learning and on the work of administrators in schools and school districts. The study was designed to provide information on the existing research about class size reduction; broad province-wide trends in terms of costs and achievements; direction provided by school districts and principals during implementation; changes in students' and teachers' experiences of teaching and learning; parents' perception of primary class size reduction; the intersection of class size reduction policies with other policy initiatives; and recommendations for policies or programs to maximize the benefits from class size. The research team reviewed the research base and analyzed statistical data collected by the Ministry of Education between 2003-04 and 2007-08. Much of the study involved field research in eight school districts, 24 schools, and 84 classrooms. Classroom observations were undertaken at each primary grade level, from Kindergarten to Grade 3 (K-3). All teachers were surveyed in each school. Parent surveys included representation from every school district in Ontario. [For "Ontario's Primary Class Size Reduction Initiative: Report on Early Implementation," see ED573357.]
Canadian Education Association. 119 Spadina Avenue, Suite 705, Toronto, ON M5V 2L1, Canada. Tel: 866-803-9549; Tel: 416-591-6300; Fax: 416-591-5345; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Canadian Education Association
Identifiers - Location: Canada