Does having a smaller class size really matter? What’s the actual benefit to our kids? How does it enhance their educational experience and success in school?
In my years in education, I have seen a lot of classrooms, and I’m a believer that there are a number of formulas for success. As we know, people learn in different ways: At Dawson School, for example, we incorporate a variety of teaching methods throughout the elementary program in order to equip our youth with an ability to succeed through a mix of teaching styles and differentiation.
But one area we feel strongly is of paramount importance is when it comes to smaller class sizes. Study after study indicates the benefit to students when they are able to receive a more customized education due to the individualized attention a smaller class size affords. The organization Class Size Matters, which advocates for smaller class sizes in New York public schools and nationwide, points out numerous benefits to reducing class size, particularly in the early grades, including:
- The Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, concludes that class size reduction is one of only four, evidence-based reforms that have been proven to increase student achievement.
- Studies from several states demonstrate that students who are assigned to smaller classes in grades K-3 score higher on tests, receive better grades, and have improved attendance.
- The benefits of smaller class sizes in the early years follow the student through their schooling: Tests showed them significantly ahead of their regular-class peers in all subjects.
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