Class Size

The number of pupils in a given course or classroom is referred to as class size, and it relates to either (1) the number of students taught by individual teachers in a course or classroom, or (2) the average number of students taught by teachers in a school, district, or education system. The phrase may also refer to the overall number of students in a given grade level or “class” in a school, or it may refer to the total number of students participating in learning experiences that do not take place in a typical classroom setting (although this usage is less common in public education). It’s worth noting that “average class sizes” are frequently tracked and reported by schools, districts, and state and federal education organizations. While average class sizes are sometimes expressed as a student-to-teacher ratio, the “student-teacher ratio” is usually not the same as the average class size. See student-teacher ratio for a more in-depth discussion.

You may also like to learn about the Online Quran Courses for kids.

The Link between Class Size and Achievement

For decades, researchers have been studying the effects of class size on student achievement. According to a Seattle Times report, the impacts “have been difficult to separate and measure,” resulting in conflicts over the results. According to the report, the dispute may be due to the advantages outweighing the costs rather than true effectiveness. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the pupil-teacher ratio grew following the 2008 crisis. Even though there is some debate over the cost-effectiveness of pursuing the benefits of small class size, most academics believe that it has a good influence, particularly on pupils in younger grades.

Class Size Reduction and Equity

Smaller class sizes and higher Teacher Student Ratios are clearly helpful for specific groups of children (Indigenous, low SES, and culturally, linguistically, and economically disenfranchised (CLED) pupils in the early years, as well as children with learning and behavioral challenges). With the increasing revisualization of public schools caused by the flight of cultural capital – itself a result of years of federal and state neglect and artificial choice programs supporting private schools — public schools having a higher percentage of troubled children, disadvantaged and refugee families, and pupils on the verge of dropping out, but they also have bigger class sizes than private schools. We can expect little achievement outcomes if CSR is implemented in the existing policy framework of high-stakes testing and low public school financing in many regions. Get the idea from Quran for kids classes.

Why It Works and When It Might Not 

Small courses are thought to work because of changes in student and teacher behavior. Smaller classes allow teachers to spend more attention to each student. Students in these courses are under constant pressure to participate in learning activities and to improve their grades by becoming more interested. Disruptive and off-task behavior decreases as attention to learning increases. However, simply adding another adult to the class will not have the same outcomes. Policymakers in the STAR experiment reasoned that assigning full-time paraprofessionals to help teachers could be a less expensive alternative to reducing class size. However, a careful examination of the STAR data has revealed that having a classroom helper had no positive influence on student achievement or behavior. In order to reap the benefits, it appears that class sizes must be drastically lowered. There is no experimental evidence that removing only a few children from a larger class, such as transitioning from 28 to 25 kids, results in any benefits. A class of even 20 kids may be too big.


State education resources should always be wisely deployed, but in times of austerity, the need to carefully analyze costs and benefits is even more important. Class-size reduction has been demonstrated to benefit some kids in some grades in certain states and nations, but its influence has been mixed or nonexistent in other settings and conditions that appear to be similar. It is really costly. When making challenging budget and program decisions, the costs and benefits of class-size mandates must be carefully balanced against all other options.

Related Stories