Mythbusting Monday is a series of blog posts where we invite different faculty members from the College of Education to discuss education myths and how or what we are doing to combat the myth, fix the myth, etc. We want our faculty to have a voice in busting these myths and we hope by making these issues personal we can promote and provoke conversations. We will reference the book 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education by David Berliner, Gene V Glass and Associates, 2014.
Myth #17: Class size does not matter; reducing class sizes will not result in more learning
Contributor: Erin Garriott, M.S., Instructor
As I sit here and watch my 12 year-old daughter play with friends in a hotel swimming pool, I’m wondering who in their right mind thinks that class size doesn’t matter. I know my daughter is safe in that pool, she’s been a confident swimmer since she was five years old. I also know that I’d feel much more at ease if there weren’t about 300 other people (at least that’s what it seemed like at times) in that very same pool of water as her. It’s hard to keep track of her.
It’s the same in today’s classrooms. Everyday kids are swimming; some confident, some not so much. Some starting and finishing strong, while others are struggling to keep up. Some have parents (like me) who are sitting on the side of the pool keeping watch ready to help if needed, some kids’ parents are no where to be found or are splitting their attention with their other children. With so many kids, it’s hard to keep track of each one.
Here in the College of Ed, we model and celebrate the impact that relationships have on success in our classrooms. Those relationships are built during meaningful class discussions and activities. And those relationships grow stronger because our class sizes are small. We get the chance to know each other, to care about each other. Most importantly, though, we don’t lose track of each other.