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Does Class Size Matter?

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: General Studies
Wordcount: 1074 words Published: 4th Sep 2017

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Does class size affect a students performance in school? Both sides could be argued upon, but neither would win without the proper evidence defending their side. Here is the evidence to put this debate to rest, class size does affect academic performance.

Smaller class for a student as well as for teachers are a good thing. “Research supports the common-sense notion that children learn more and teachers are more effective in smaller classes.” (General OneFile) Its common sense that smaller class are more effective for students to learn and teachers to help their students. The larger the class, the least likely it is for the teacher of the class to give every student the help they need. For a student to be able to succeed the teacher has to be able to help them until they understand on their own enough to handle it by themselves. The more the teacher is able to help, the more they learn and the more they learn, the more they will achieve in their futures. “Studies have shown that small classes have a beneficial effect on the academic achievement of children from low-income families and those learning English as a second language (ESL). These are the students that the majority of educators are increasingly dealing with. Not only were small classes studied, but large ones as well. The findings show that overcrowded classrooms are associated with lower student achievement as confirmed by reading and mathematics competency tests.” (Robert J. Rios) Test scores show that smaller classes are effective at bettering achievements of low income and minority students. Smaller classes help low-income and minority students learn better as well as faster.

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Larger classes are could be very harmful to students both educationally and financially. “The evidence suggests that increasing class size will harm not only children’s test scores in the short run, but also their long run human capital formation. Money saved today by increasing class sizes will result in more substantial social and educational costs in the future.” (Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach) Raising the size of a class will effect a students test scores as well as hurting them in the long run money wise. Saving money now by increasing class size now will hurt the student in the long run. Its not good for the schools to cut cost now by making class sizes bigger, to effect the student later by having to spend more money to get where they needed to be in the first place. “Class size is an important determinant of student outcomes, and one that can be directly determined by policy. All else being equal, increasing class sizes will harm student outcomes.” (Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach) “Increased student numbers in universities coupled with reduced resources have often resulted in larger class sizes, thus encouraging a reversion of the traditional style of delivery and a reduction in small group and tutorial contact in short, less interactive teaching and learning.” (William Duncan Papo) By increasing student class sizes in schools to reduce resource use has often resulted in the reduction of interactive teaching and learning,  you would be decreasing the time that the students could possibly need with the teacher, but not being able to have because there would be too many students to get that opportunity. Raising class size could potentially hurt a students outcomes of achievement educationally.

[If you use endnotes, they should be on a separate page, at the end of your text and preceding the list of works cited. If you use footnotes, consult your professor for preferred format.]

Class Size Change From Elementary to High School

Average Class Sizes:

Elementary Class Size

Middle School Class Size

High School Class Size

Average Class




Source: https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/sass/tables/sass1112_2013314_t1s_007.aspAs you see class size greatly effects a student academically as well as capitally. Policymakers should take into account the facts that students learn better and fast in smaller classes where the teacher can get to all her students.

Works Cited

Bonesronning, Hans. “Class Size Effects on Student Achievement in Norway: Patterns and Explanations.” Southern Economic Journal 69.4 (2003): 952. General OneFile. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.

“Class-Size Reduction: Better Than You Think.” PRWeb Newswire 18 Feb. 2014: n. pag. General OneFile. Web. 7 Feb. 2017.

Guillemette, Yvan. “School Class Size: Smaller Isn’t Better.” C.D. Howe Institute Commentary 15 Aug. 2005: n. pag. General OneFile. Web. 7 Feb. 2017.

Johnson, Laurene. “Does Class Size Really Matter?” District Administration Oct. 2011: 104. General OneFile. Web. 6 Feb. 2017.

PAPO, WILLIAM DUNCAN. “LARGE CLASS TEACHING: IS IT A PROBLEM TO STUDENTS?” College Student Journal 33.3 (1999): 354. General OneFile. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.

Rios, Robert J. “School of Education at Johns Hopkins University-Class Size: Does It Really Matter?” Does It Really Matter? N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2017.

Schanzenbach, Diane W., Professor. “Does Class Size Matter?” National Education Policy Center. N.p., Feb. 2014. Web. 07 Feb. 2017.

“Table 7.Average Class Size in Public Primary Schools, Middle Schools, High Schools, and Schools with Combined Grades, by Classroom Type and State: 2011-12.” Table 7.Average Class Size in Public Primary Schools, Middle Schools, High Schools, and Schools with Combined Grades, by Classroom Type and State: 2011-12. Schools and Staffing Survey, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2017.


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