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Class Size and Student Learning Abilities

Small schools and large classes can be both beneficial towards the overall education of students, and also harmful in various ways. Picture by
Small schools and large classes can be both beneficial towards the overall education of students, and also harmful in various ways. Picture by Angela Lee.

by Angela Lee, staff reporter

Small schools and large classes can be both beneficial towards the overall education of students, and also harmful in various ways.

While some students learn better in a bigger group of people where they are allowed to share notes, agree or disagree with a topic and present a strong argument against it, others may not be comfortable in that school setting. For these students, a classroom where there can also be countless distractions, loud, chatty people, and heated debates or discussions that they don’t feel comfortable in partaking seem scary.

These people might prefer a quieter space, a smaller classroom where the teachers can supervise the students easily and make sure they’re all focused on their work, instead of chatting with each other and getting out of control.

In a debate between the impact, be it negative or positive, this raises these questions: with a small school, and large classes… what’s the impact? Is this really better than the alternative, and which will ultimately triumph the other?

“I prefer a smaller class because when there are less distractions, it is easier to focus on what is being taught. This makes it easier for students to participate in class,” junior Maria Koutmanis said.

The impact is that communication between students and teachers is more personal than it is with a bigger classroom. In larger classrooms teachers might not have enough time to sit down with students and listen to their individual problems and help them. In a smaller classroom, both the instructor and the students have less distractions and have a more personalized interaction between each other, which may result in a better learning experience for certain people. However, this is not the only option.

“I prefer a bigger class for school because of the people involved.  With big classes you have a lot of people to interact with, so if you need a fresh explanation, you can always ask. You also have more opinions, making group discussions more effective. In my opinion, a class is based off of communication and a good teacher, and I think a larger class provides that,” junior Amanda Goldberg said.

The impact of larger classes in a smaller school is as stated. With more people to each classroom, ideas and new explanations from the people around a student can give that student the help they need to accomplish a task efficiently. Group discussions will have more voices to contribute and participate, and communication will skyrocket.

Not only will a large classroom in a small school leave an impact as great as the grades lining the walls of the class, there is also more interaction between the students. This teaches them to speak up and stand for their own opinions, even and especially if it means they have to stand alone.

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