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 23, 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 23, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: No Nation Gets Pass on Climate Change

Obama: No Nation Gets Pass on Climate Change

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) In a forceful appeal for international cooperation on limiting carbon pollution, President Barack Obama warned world leaders at the UN Climate Summit on Tuesday that the globe's climate is changing faster than efforts to address it. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Overcrowding Has Public Schools Going Vertical

Overcrowding Has Public Schools Going Vertical

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) Pricey real estate and overcrowding have forced urban and suburban school districts to get creative. In Atlanta and outside Washington, that means converting high rise commercial buildings into vertical learning environments. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
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