Monday, 11 June 2012

Education Blogging

It seems we have a turnaround on the class-sizes thing ... of course the money has to come from somewhere so wait for the other shoe to drop. It is interesting that all this noise about how larger class sizes may not be all that harmful after all is coming out at a time that governments are keen to cut education budgets. And we are seeing loud proponents even though there is a wealth of evidence that it is smaller class sizes that impact positively on learning outcomes.

Sure, it is true that class size is only one factor in learning achievement. Better teachers can, indeed, compensate and even improve outcomes. However, there is nothing in the policy that will actually improve the quality of teaching - OK, the requirement is now for new teachers to have a post-grad degree instead of just a grad degree but that does not mean they are qualified to control a class of 40 students!

(My biggest class was 38 at Avondale College - year 9, Monday mornings and Friday last period and I don't want to talk about it!) The government estimates of class sizes (20-25) are laughable. Even if true, the classrooms were designed for 16 students. We are already at double capacity and it seems each year teachers are being asked to take on a bigger workload. There is only so much you can do to work smarter and more efficiently before the whole thing falls apart.

Why should someone with a master's degree put up with this sort of thing? I'm looking for work in the UK myself.

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