In response to Bill Gates’ rather bizarre and tortured call for increased class sizes yesterday, several writers have posted useful resources. I’m adding these to The Best Resources For Learning About How Class Size Does Matter:
Can We Improve Education By Increasing Class Size? comes from GOOD.
An Open Letter to Bill Gates: Higher Class Sizes will Drive Teachers Out by Anthony Cody at Ed Week.
On Bill Gates, Class Size, and American Parents is by Dana Goldstein. I’ve got questions about her statistics, but she does make some interesting points.
I know that others have already provided full responses to the issue of class size but as this is the first time I read about it I decided to comment.
As someone who has taught in an inner-city public (state) school, I was surprised by Bill Gates’ call for increased class sizes. I am all for fresh ideas and freedom of speech but I do not agree with this suggestion. Has Mr Gates been into a classroom in a school in a poor area and actually see what it is like? His view seems remarkably uninformed. From my experience, the students at these schools desperately need more individual attention not less and larger class sizes do lead to less attention, however good the teacher is.
It is a shame that a man as powerful as Bill Gates has been getting so much attention for a theory that, I believe, if put into practice will do a huge amount of damage to education.
I totally disagree with the suggestion of increasing class size. Increased class size will lead to higher rates of teacher stress ands teacher burn-out. Students, especially at the elementary level where I teach, would not benefit, but suffer, from increased class size. It would be nearly impossible for a teacher to conference with all of his/her students in a day and give them the attention they need and deserve if class size grew. Children need nurturing and attention to strive and grow and I fear that increased class sizes will lead to a vast drop in American education.