Many parents have concerns over how their child is educated. At the heart of these issues is that of class size. Numbers in classes have gradually risen over the last few decades, and now they feel we have reached crisis point. Numbers need to be reduced, they say, because at their current levels students’ education is being affected. This essay aims to find out whether reducing class sizes would actually lead to an increase in grades and productivity.
The main argument of those who argue for reduction of class sizes is that teachers can only do so much in a classroom. No matter how many students they have in front of them, they have to divide the same school day between them all. Bigger numbers mean they can’t spend as much time with each student, and so the student’s school experience suffers.
Smaller classes show that teachers suffer much less stress while in the classroom. Having to control and educate a larger group of students has been found to be draining on teachers, and when class sizes are reduced to manageable numbers, teacher retention in schools has been noticeably better. A teacher who has less students to manage can give much more of themselves to the students they do have.
It has also been found that when class numbers are reduced, the student’s relationship with their teacher improves dramatically. They feel they can engage more in a class, rather than passively listening. The smaller numbers mean they can feel more comfortable getting involved, and therefore learning more.
Of course, it’s not just as simple as reducing the numbers. Those against the idea of reducing class sizes say it’s not feasible in most schools’ budgets. To reduce numbers, schools would have to increase the number of teachers they have on their staff. With restrictions already on most schools’ budgets, they simply can’t afford to do this.
Thanks to these restrictions, schools have a long list of things they need to spend their money on. As far as they’re concerned, there’s plenty of items on the to do list that have to come before reducing their class sizes. For example, a school may need specialist equipment to accommodate a child with disabilities, or they may simply need to carry out urgent but expensive building work on the school property. When budgets are so tight, they have to rely on those larger class sizes to ensure that students are educated at all.
From these arguments it’s obvious that there’s no easy fix to the issue. Monetary issues appear to be the root of the problem. If schools could have access to bigger budgets, they could reduce class sizes. However, it would be down to governments to help them.