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Relationships between class size and teaching: A multimethod analysis of english infant schools

Blatchford, P; Moriarty, V; Edmonds, S; Martin, C; (2002) Relationships between class size and teaching: A multimethod analysis of english infant schools. American Educational Research Journal , 39 (1) pp. 101-132. 10.3102/00028312039001101. Green open access

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Abstract

Research and debate on class size differences has focused on relations with achievement, and there is little relevant research on what mediating classroom processes might be involved. In this article we investigate connections between class size and teaching interactions. We adopt a multimethod approach, integrating qualitative in formation from teachers' end-of-year accounts and data from case studies with quantitative information from time-allocation estimates and systematic observations. Our data come from a longitudinal study of two cohorts of more than 10,000 children altogether for 3 years after enrollment in English infant schools (aged 4-7 years). Our results show, overall, that in smaller classes there is more individualized teacher support for learning. We interpret the results in the context of teacher time allocation, research on effective teaching, and post-Vygotskian approaches to teaching. It is suggested that direct models of teacher influences on pupils need to be adapted to allow for class size as a contextual factor that influences both teachers and pupils.

Type: Article
Title: Relationships between class size and teaching: A multimethod analysis of english infant schools
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3102/00028312039001101
UCL classification: UCL
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/1493791
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