The Benefits Derived From a Low Student –Teacher Ratio Albert Fuller American Intercontinental University English Composition II What are the possibilities and impacts of a low student-teacher ratio and how can it be beneficial to both students and teachers alike. Imagine yourself in a class of 30 or more students, you are eager to learn but find it hard to grab the attention of the teacher.
You feel lost in a class of pupils and you don’t know if you are going to absorb the lesson of the day. Sitting at your desk wishing that your instructor focused more time on the subjects that you didn’t understand; you find yourself looking for opportunities to refocus attention on you. Hoping to gain the knowledge and intellect that will help prepare you for college, you soon realize that your teacher being overworked often times overlooks your progress.
Many students in the world today face these problems. There are multiple signs that point to how reducing class sizes will show an improvement in several areas that are affecting educators and students and once these areas are controlled benefits will be shared by both groups. Students benefiting from the personalized learning experience of smaller classes have a higher probability of entering institutions of a higher level of education.
A published journal by Finn & Gerber (2005) estimate that the large studies performed by three states comparing smaller to larger class sizes arrived at the same conclusion, “that smaller class sizes result in substantial gains in student achievement which sustain to graduation and beyond”. These were the STAR study in Tennessee, the SAGE studies in Wisconsin and the CSR studies in California. These combined studies measured how mixed variations of the learning environment have an impact on percentages relating to educational progress.
Konstantopoulos (2008) has pointed to a fact that shows that the smaller learning environment in inner city schools has been shown to provide students more time to learn details of lessons that would otherwise be cut short in larger classes. Teachers from inner city schools have reported that their students, when placed in a smaller class size are retaining information being delivered simply because they are more abled to review the lesson immediately with students that haven’t gasped the delivered concepts Konstantopoulos (2008).
The students feel the benefit of education retention from the smaller classes and more prepared when entering college because of the detail in learning that was available to them during secondary education. A direct consequence of the failure to adequately fund public schools is budget restraints and students in low funded states have had to suffer from some of the largest class sizes in America due to this. State level government has been forced to choose between funding school programs and providing competitive pay to teachers.
As a consequence of low school funding, many 9th Graders across the U. S. have the lowest percent of college completion. Burtless (1996) Causing educators to lose focus on the quality of education a student receives, many teachers believe that one of many drawbacks to House Bill 2261 is how it eliminated even the inadequate floor for school funding of the Basic Education Act and replaced it with class size funding at whatever level the State legislature wanted to fund schools during a particular year, this was a major one of many drawbacks to Bill 2261.
Konstantopoulos and Chung (2009) Many scholars have cited that the percentage based funding the states have devised now leaves low-income areas of a state forced to have higher student-teacher ratios than other areas of the state; this has cause teachers to lose focus on educating students and be more so spending their days completing various paperwork. These teachers enjoy their profession less than teachers in low student-teacher ratio schools. Burtless (1996) Smaller classes would benefit teachers as well.
They will have a smaller group of students to manage which with provide less chance of class disruptions and they will be able to progress through planned lessons in a smoother pace. Due to the low funding of some states, teachers with larger classes are focused on following lesson plans and paperwork with no time to use forms of creative instruction Burtless (1996). Without the individuals creative instruction students surveyed have reported that the information being delivered appears repetitive and less interesting causing them to lose focus and not retain the information being delivered.
The focused learning experience that the smaller environment provides will boost class participation and will encourage students to have higher educational goals and will benefit these students in future endeavors. Fewer students will feel a lack of learning in a smaller learning environment. The smaller classes have shown improved statistics in academic behavior and from this change we are able to see the need for structure in the class along with quality one-on-one time with teachers.
Konstantopoulos (2008) Students in smaller class settings are able to retain focus and teachers are able to maintain direction. Fewer students in a class would allow teachers to monitor how well students are retaining information, reduce behavior issues and would prevent students from going off task. Parker (2008) With larger classes, teachers spend more time reviewing course material for those that are behind rather than moving on in subject matter.
With the smaller class sizes, educators will be able to cover more subject matter and, in turn, students are shown to learn more than has been expected for that grade level. In conclusion, smaller classes are shown to improve the quality of learning that is currently being provided in larger classes. Students across America have taken part in studies discussed in this essay and experts agree that the benefits of a smaller class have long lasting impacts on student relations with teachers and nourish the mind to achieve higher educational goals.
Although funding in some states do not support smaller sized classrooms, reducing the class size has shown to have a significant impact on the effort a teacher uses in education, the participation of students in smaller classes when faced with more one-to-one instruction, behavior changes in smaller classes, and the increase in the level of education smaller students receives. References: Burtless, G. (1996) Does Money Matter? : The Effect of School Resources on Student Achievement and Adult Success ISBN 0-8157-1275-8 Konstantopoulos, Spyros; Chung, Vicki (2009). “What Are the Long-Term Effects of Small Classes on the Achievement Gap?
Evidence from the Lasting Bene? ts Study”. American Journal of Education 116 (1): 125–54. Konstantopoulos, Spyros. (2008). “Do Small Classes Reduce the Achievement Gap between Low and High Achievers? Evidence from Project STAR. ” Elementary School Journal 108 (4): 275–91. Parker, L. (2008). Little Wonders http://www. aeufederal. org. au/Publications/AE/Spr08pp18-20. pdf Finn, J. D. , & Gerber, S. B. (2005) Small Class Sizes in Early Grades, Academic Achievement, and Graduating From High School, Journal of Educational Psychology, (97) (2) 214-223 http://www. apa. org/pubs/journals/releases/edu-972214. pdf
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