Do smaller classes result in better education?
Interestingly, there are varying results from different studies conducted in the USA and apparently advocates of Class Size Reduction (CSR) are as guilty of cherry picking results to suite their argument as their opponents, who argue that the cost of CSR outwieghs its benefits.
Having said that, although many states have legislation in place that limits class size, even a casual reading of some studies throws up some obvious opportunities for massaging results. For instance, most studies talk about average pupil/teacher ratios. At Gallagher Combined School, we have classes as small as 3 learners and as large as 18. We have 9 classes and 100 learners, so average class size must be 100/9 = 11, which also happens (coincidentally) to be the average of 3 and 18, so we could argue that our average is 11 learners per teacher. But hang on, we have 11 teachers and 100 learners, so surely our average must be 100/11 = 9?
You see how one can play around with numbers to get the result that best suits your argument?
We take the view that the fewer learners in a class the more attention each of them can get from the teacher and the better the results will be. Surely, this argument is valid regardless of standard of teaching and all the other variables that affect outcomes.
Just compare a class of 43 (a well known Midrand school)
with 18 (our current largest)
and draw your own conclusion.