Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Small Classes Have Long-term Benefit For All Students

Date:
October 9, 2009
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Providing small classes for at least several consecutive grades starting in early elementary school gives students the best chance to succeed in later grades, according to new research.

Providing small classes for at least several consecutive grades starting in early elementary school gives students the best chance to succeed in later grades, according to groundbreaking new research from a Michigan State University scholar.

The research by Spyros Konstantopoulos, associate professor of education, is the first to examine the effects of class size over a sustained period and for all levels of students – from low- to high-achievers. The study appears in the American Journal of Education.

Konstantopoulos also is a member of a committee for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences that will make official recommendations on class size to the states. He said the recommendations will mirror his research: that the best plan of attack is to provide small classes (13 to 17 students) for at least several years starting in kindergarten or first grade.

“For a long time states thought they could just do it in kindergarten or first grade for one year and get the benefits,” Konstantopoulos said. “I don’t believe that. I think you need at least a few years consecutively where all students, and especially low-achievers, receive the treatment, and then you see the benefits later.”

His research used data from the massive Project Star study in Tennessee that analyzed the effects of class size on more than 11,000 students in elementary and middle school. Konstantopoulos found that students who had been in small classes from kindergarten through third grade had substantially higher test scores in grades four through eight than students who had been in larger classes early on.

Students from all achievement levels benefited from small classes, the research found. But low-achievers benefited the most, which narrowed the achievement gap with high-achievers in science, reading and math, Konstantopoulos said.

Although the study didn’t evaluate classroom practices, Konstantopoulos said the reason for the narrowing gap likely is due to low-achieving students receiving more attention from teachers.

“This is especially important in poorer schools because teacher effectiveness matters more in schools with higher proportions of disadvantaged and low-performing students,” he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Small Classes Have Long-term Benefit For All Students." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091009104649.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2009, October 9). Small Classes Have Long-term Benefit For All Students. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091009104649.htm
Michigan State University. "Small Classes Have Long-term Benefit For All Students." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091009104649.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Is Big Tobacco Voluntarily Warning You About E-Cigs?

Why Is Big Tobacco Voluntarily Warning You About E-Cigs?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Big tobacco companies are voluntarily printing health warnings on their e-cigarette packages — a move some are calling part of a PR strategy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Pediatricians Endorse IUDs, Implants For Teens

Why Pediatricians Endorse IUDs, Implants For Teens

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) New recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics point to intrauterine devices and implants as good forms of birth control for teens. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Corvette Can Secretly Record Convos And Get You Arrested

New Corvette Can Secretly Record Convos And Get You Arrested

Newsy (Sep. 28, 2014) The 2015 Corvette features valet mode – which allows the owner to secretly record audio and video – but in many states that practice is illegal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins