Log in

Class sizes - fact or fallacy?

  • Public
Started by Tessa Gray 08 Jun 2012 1:16pm () Replies (4)

Reading the articles below, it’s easy to see there’s no one side to the debate on class sizes.


When Hattie collated research around what the attributes of excellent teachers, influences such as physical attributes (class sizes) was sitting -.05 (effect size) just above Television in homes at -.12. Relationships and feedback between teacher and student has the greatest impact on learning a 1.13. Better yet, a three-way partnership between parents, child and school. 


So if the research shows class size as minimal effect on learning outcomes, and we know that “equally robust research shows that the key to educational success is engagement”...(Increased class sizes were never a good idea), then how does the data relate to each other? 


I'm sure parents are equally interested in this debate as well. So, what really matters in the classroom and how can we tell our parents about this? How are schools sharing their understanding of how learning works in the classroom with their wider community?


We'd love to hear what's happening in schools at the moment.


Hattie What Are the Attributes of Excellent Teachers


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 12 Jun 2012 11:22am ()

    Dave Winter asked some Hamilton teachers what challenges they were facing. The responses may not surprise you. Check out the video @ http://educheck.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/challenges-teacher-see.html

  • Dave Winter (View all users posts) 17 Jun 2012 12:48pm ()

     I was suprised by some of the challenges presented. It's funny that we often hear the argument that class sizes do not have an effect on student outcomes. That may be the case but logic would say that teachers have a workload associated with each student. There are so many factors to take into account. The physical size of classrooms even the mainstreaming of students who bring with them the need to accomodate support staff etc. What we have seen is the focus on one indicator from John Hattie's meta-analysis and a hell of a lot of extrapolation. Bigger class sizes might end up to be economically unavoidable but let's not masquerade them as a way to improve student outcomes.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 19 Jun 2012 5:53pm ()

    Hi Dave, thanks again for sharing your thinking here.

    There’s a lot for us teachers to learn here (Attributes of excellent teachers). For example, what the teacher says/does, how well they say/do it and for what purpose - clearly has a defining impact on our student’s learning.

    What I also find interesting, is that in ranking the top 10 influences,

    Students prior cognitive ability (2) and Students disposition to learn (6) also have a big part to play.

    I’d like to hear how these variables relate as well – good, bad or otherwise….

Join this group to contribute to discussions.

Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the classroom - Connecting school to the wider community with and about technologies.