The necessities of applying small size class in primary school
From the form of teaching organization, small class refers to the number of students in a teaching class. In the practice of education, some people have raised the question: How much coverage does the teacher pay attention to in the classroom teaching? A domestic and international study of “Vision and Culture” shows that: generally, there are no more than 25 students. If a class has more than 25 students, teachers will lose sight of one another. The more they do, the more students they can’t attend to?Finn,2013?. Small class teaching is beneficial for students to learn effectively in primary school. Its necessities lie in improving classroom efficiency, students’ achievement and teachers’ self-improvement.
If there are too many students in a class, the teacher is not able to take care of every child. Obviously, the teachers pay little attention to the children in that situation. Pupils often rely on others for their comments because of their weak self-evaluation ability. Every child hopes to get the attention of others, especially the teacher. In fact, when pupils firstly entered primary school, the teacher has the most authority in his heart, even more than his parents( Nye?2002). If the child is ignored by the teacher for a long time, he may have sense of inferiority. In addition, children’s attention is unstable, and teachers are often required to remind them that can help pupils develop their learning habits. Class size will affect teachers’ work, so primary education is more suitable for the implementation of small class teaching.
In class, teaching in small classes is conducive to full teacher-student interaction, which can be reflected in the form of the discussions between teachers and students. The discussion between teachers and students in class is undoubtedly an effective method of student-centered education. The collision of views between teachers and students in the discussion may inspire new inspiration. At the same time, teacher-student interaction can also cultivate students’ critical thinking. In large class size, it is difficult to organize effective teacher-student interaction in which most of students participate instead of passively learning knowledge. This does not accord with the principle of students as the subject put forward by quality education. Moreover, a small class is helpful for teachers to take layered teaching and enhance the pertinence of teaching. By observing the students’ learning needs, teachers understand the prerequisites for each student to learn new knowledge, so that they can adapt their teaching model to different levels of students. Secondly, teachers in small classes are easier to guide students to set goals, and make study plans. With the help of teachers, students can discover problems, solve problems, and gain positive emotional experiences from learning. The necessity of implementing small class teaching in primary schools is reflected in the classroom.
The improvement of students’ achievement performance is another necessity of applying small Class in Primary School. Class size is one of the most important factors affecting students’ academic performance. According to 1980s, The Department of National Education ran an education program called the Star Project star in Tennessee of America?Biddle?2008?. The program aimed to find a link between the teacher-student ratio and student achievement by adjusting the teacher-student ratio. According to the study, when the number of teachers remains the same, the number of students in the class is less than 20, the overall academic standard of the class will rise slightly. Therefore, the students who are taught in a small class are easier to get good results. The author further emphasized in the paper that “with the gradual reduction of classroom size, students’ achievements in all aspects will show significant development”.
Since then, the Department of Education in USA has carried out many studies which are similar to Project Star, and the results tend to converge. A research in North Carolina, for example, shows that compared to students in “traditional classes,” the academic advancement of students in the “small class teaching” model will be revealed in the first year?Slavin?1989?. Further research results show that the graduation rate of students in “small class teaching” is 76%, while that in “traditional class” is 64%. More than 45% students in “small Class Teaching” received honorary diplomas, compared with only 29% students in “traditional Class”?Krueger?2001?. At the same time, the proportion of middle school students with social problems such as teenage pregnancy and smoking is lower than that of traditional classes.
Meanwhile “small class teaching” has not only improved the overall academic level of students, but also effectively reduced the dropout rate of students. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, The higher the teacher-student ratio, the higher the graduation rate. In addition, the students in the “small class teaching” mode rarely appear the phenomenon of repetition, discipline and juvenile delinquency.
Compared with 20-30 students managed by a teacher, there is no doubt that in the “one-on-one” and “small class” mode, The “personal attention” that every student gets is naturally greatly enhanced. This attention allows teachers to pay more attention to each student in the class and their problems and propose solutions to the problem. Help them solve. These problems include not only the study aspect but also the life aspect. It is easy to make small mistakes. Teachers, as the ones who spend the most time of day with students, tend to notice students’ which need to be corrected timely. This kind of targeted education and guidance is helpful to improve students’ performance. Learning in small classes is conducive to improving performance.
Small size class promotes teachers’ learning and self-improvement in the process of practicing small classes. With the help of appropriate classroom size and correct teaching tools, teachers can more easily complete their teaching work. In fact, the number of students has an impact on teachers, because teachers also feel too much “pressure” from students. Studies have shown that teachers tend to be constrained and unnatural in the face of large-scale classes(Achilles?2013). While in the “small class teaching” model, teachers can communicate their views more directly to students. At the same time, unlike teachers who work in large classes, teachers who teach in small classes have more free time which means they can focus more on teaching sections such as designing lesson plan or do some research instead of correct the student’s homework. In the implementation of “small class education”, teachers who participate in teaching always support each other, because the teaching method of small class is different from that of traditional large-scale class, teachers often need to communicate with each other and exchange experiences. In the process of cooperation, teachers gradually change their ideas of teaching in large classes and make themselves more creative in teaching in small classes. For example, each teacher participates in a project group, conducts weekly activities and theoretical discussions, discusses teaching situations, teaching strategies, and individual cases. The purpose of these meetings is to provide opportunities for reflection on practice, sharing experiences, and help teachers grow up.
Biddle, B. J., ; Berliner, D. C. (2008). Small class size and its effects. Schools and society: A sociological approach to education, 3, 86-95.
Finn, J. D., Pannozzo, G. M., ; Achilles, C. M. (2003). The “why’s” of class size: Student behavior in small classes. Review of Educational Research, 73(3), 321-368.
Krueger, A. B., ; Whitmore, D. M. (2001). The effect of attending a small class in the early grades on college?test taking and middle school test results: Evidence from Project STAR. The Economic Journal, 111(468), 1-28.
Nye, B., Hedges, L. V., ; Konstantopoulos, S. (2002). Do low-achieving students benefit more from small classes? Evidence from the Tennessee class size experiment. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 24(3), 201-217.
Slavin, R. E. (1989). Class size and student achievement: Small effects of small classes. Educational Psychologist, 24(1), 99-110.