Each educational system poses both benefits and challenges. It is worth considering all substantial nuances before taking the decision about implementing a certain approach. Experts from Pro-Papers have analyzed features of a small class and their effect on professors’ effectiveness.
Advantages of small classes
Educators usually have no time to communicate with each learner in a one-on-one format in 30+ classes. It may seem too young people that a teacher does not care for their academic success, just wants to perform one’s duties and leave a class. As there is no opportunity to receive answers to questions emerging during a lecture, listeners cannot fill in knowledge gaps. Active interaction with a professor inspires them, simplifies memorizing information and forming valuable skills.
It is difficult to work effectively in chaos. Teacher’s task is to track discipline in a class, ensure that everyone performs assignments, reads textbooks and takes notes, calm down talkative students and attract their attention to studying, which is easier if there are fewer persons in a learning group. Small classes are much more silent. That is why professors do not have to make additional efforts to avoid a mess.
Some kids are shy to participate in the topic discussing. More active learners do not overshadow them in 10-student classes. Also, it is easier for an educator to notice that some young people feel bored and motivate them.
It is easy to overlook some mistakes if a teacher has to check 30 essays. One is likely to read them superficially, without deep analysis necessary for determining bad trends, understanding where problems may arise, changing teaching approach to avoid poor results in the future. This is not due to a lack of professionalism. Educators are live people getting tired during a working day. Checking a large pile of homework in the evening seems to torture for them. Therefore, it is easier to work on errors in small classes.
Cohesive class culture
A learning group may turn into a kind of family if interpersonal relationships are strong enough. Children usually have no opportunity to interact closely with peers in a 30+ class. That is why they create cliques and communicate only with a few like-minded persons. In smaller classes, students learn to find a common language with different people. This skill will come in handy at a workplace where employees work with colleagues chosen by a boss.
Better teacher-student relationships
Tracking students’strengths and weaknesses, learning behaviour peculiarities, character traits, professors may find the best way to present course materials to each child. In addition, strong interpersonal relationships may be built. A teacher may notice that a learner is upset, ask about reasons for one’s bad mood and provide psychological support. If there are some conflicts in a class, an educator may act as a peace-bringer maintaining a favourable emotional climate in a class. One ceases to be just an instructor but turns into a friend and a role model.
In a small class, students do not have to wait until their 30 peers answer teacher’s questions near a blackboard, read their essays aloud or clarify some nuances that were not understood during a lecture. Young people usually get bored when a professor explains material they already know or interacts one-on-one with other learners.
With the individualized approach, work is done faster, which stimulates students’ enthusiasm. They can cover more material, explore a topic more profoundly, perform more additional tasks and form stronger skills. If some time remains at the end of a lesson, it may be spent on pleasant, entertaining activities, communication strengthening class cohesion. You can also visit this site for more professional services.
Disadvantages of small classes
Before creating small learning groups, administration of educational institutions should take into account the following challenges:
- It may be difficult for kids to always stay focused and involved, participate in all discussions and team tasks. Some time may be needed to comprehend information received and make conclusions. There is no opportunity to “hide” in a small group. It may be both an advantage and a factor increasing learners’ anxiety. Professors should be aware of kids’ sensitiveness, shy persons with special care, differently from children eager to dominate.
- Some professors are accustomed to teacher-centred educational approach. It may be challenging for them to apply learner-centred strategies, meet the requirements of a small class.
- Educators should prepare enough additional tasks and entertainment activities for the end of the lesson when free time may remain.
- Communication in a small group may be boring for sociable children.
- As kids learn from each other while working in a team, they will have fewer opportunities to find out about unique peers’ experience.
Due to the need to hire more teachers, educational institutions may shrink educators’ wages, which will undermine the prestige of the profession.