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ERIC Number: EJ852046
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-0827-3383
Class Size Reduction: No Silver Bullet for Special Education Students' Achievement
Zarghami, Fatemeh; Schnellert, Gary
International Journal of Special Education, v19 n1 p89-96 2004
While there are hundreds of studies reported for general education, few researchers have focused on the impact of class size on the academic achievement of students with special needs. Despite escalating special education costs and increasing student needs, policies governing special education remain inconsistent. We examine the effect of class size reduction on special education students. Two issues were explored: (a) appropriate class size and caseload as they influence special education student academic achievement and (b) the effect of class size on special education teacher attrition rate and teaching methods. The implications of these issues for policy makers are also discussed. Findings indicate 1) each state has different rules on class size and caseload for special education, 2) the students demonstrating the most profound needs remain largely unaffected by class size reduction, and 3) that attrition rate is affected more by quality of teacher preparation than it is by class size. Teachers felt inadequately prepared for inclusion and indicated that their primary need was for more specific inclusion training. We identified no single best way to determine appropriate class and group size for special instructional programs and services; however, the existence of well-qualified teachers proved an important factor in increasing student achievement.
International Journal of Special Education. 2889 Highbury Street, Vancouver, BC V6R 3T7, Canada. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A