Smaller school classroom sizes: an ideal we can strive to achieve

By Eugene Ng Ming Teck

"It is teachers and how they teach that makes a critical difference, not just the class size." - EDUCATION MINISTER (SCHOOLS) NG CHEE MENG

I'm a teacher. I agree it's not just about class size; how a teacher delivers the lesson matters much too.

BUT ask any teacher from the most capable to the least and they would tell you a smaller sized class would:-

1. greatly facilitate learning

2. foster greater bond in teacher-student-peer relationships

3. deepen the depth or widen the scope of what can be taught

4. increase engagement between teacher and EACH student

5. facilitate better classroom management

6. provide that a bit more space and time...just that little bit more...

To say that research is inconclusive on classroom size producing better results is in itself inconclusive.

Why not work towards an ideal?

Why not be the change the world can see?

If it was inconclusive why did MOE reduce P1 and P2 class sizes from 40 to 30 about 7 years ago?

Why base things on research when you can just talk to any teacher and they more or less would tell you:

"Yes! A smaller size class would help!"

How about a quick revelation on some current numbers:-

Typical Singapore Primary class size : 35-42

Typical Singapore Tuition class size : 5-12

So why don't we halve the typical Singapore school classroom size and hopefully come to rely less on private tuition?

This is an ideal we can strive to achieve.

This first appeared as a post on the Facebook wall of Eugene Ng Ming Teck on 7 November 2017. Do join in the discussion over there if you have thoughts to share.


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