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Rethinking Class Size: The complex story of impact on teaching and learning

Blatchford, P; Russell, A; (2020) Rethinking Class Size: The complex story of impact on teaching and learning. [Book]. UCL PRESS Green open access

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Abstract

The debate over whether class size matters for teaching and learning is one of the most enduring, and aggressive, in education research. Teachers often insist that small classes benefit their work. But many experts argue that evidence from research shows class size has little impact on pupil outcomes, so does not matter, and this dominant view has informed policymaking internationally. Here, the lead researchers on the world’s biggest study into class size effects present a counter-argument. Through detailed analysis of the complex relations involved in the classroom they reveal the mechanisms that support teachers’ experience, and conclude that class size matters very much indeed. Drawing on 20 years of systematic classroom observations, surveys of practitioners, detailed case studies and extensive reviews of research, Peter Blatchford and Anthony Russell contend that common ways of researching the impact of class size are limited and sometimes misguided. While class size may have no direct effect on pupil outcomes, it has, they say, significant force through interconnections with classroom processes. In describing these connections, the book opens up the everyday world of the classroom and shows that the influence of class size is everywhere. It impacts on teaching, grouping practices and classroom management, the quality of peer relations, tasks given to pupils, and on the time teachers have for marking, assessments and understanding the strengths and challenges for individual pupils. From their analysis, the authors develop a new social pedagogical model of how class size influences work, and identify policy conclusions and implications for teachers and schools. The book is an invaluable contribution to the international debate on class size

Type: Book
Title: Rethinking Class Size: The complex story of impact on teaching and learning
ISBN-13: 978-1-78735-879-9
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14324/111.9781787358799
Publisher version: https://10.0.55.244/111.9781787358799
Language: English
Additional information: © Peter Blatchford and Anthony Russell, 2020 Figures © owners noted below each one. Peter Blatchford and Anthony Russell have asserted their rights under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from The British Library. This book is published under a Creative Commons 4.0 International licence (CC BY 4.0). This licence allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work; to adapt the work and to make commercial use of the work providing attribution is made to the authors (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Attribution should include the following information: Blatchford, P. and Russell, A. 2020. Rethinking Class Size: The complex story of impact on teaching and learning. London: UCL Press. https://doi.org/ 10.14324/111.9781787358799 Further details about Creative Commons licences are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ Any third-party material in this book is published under the book’s Creative Commons licence unless indicated otherwise in the credit line to the material. If you would like to reuse any third-party material not covered by the book’s Creative Commons licence, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.
Keywords: education, class size, learning, teaching
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10112837
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