Friday, 24 August 2012

Double trouble? - What is best for OUR students?

When I attended school, which (quietly) was not yesterday, there were many issues. Some of these have been addressed and fixed, there are some new issues, and some issues remain the same.

I heard an idea today that is being tossed around by at least one Australian state, as a solution to a few of the current issues. I have my doubts as to whether the advantages will outnumber the disadvantages.

The idea of doubling classroom sizes to up to 60 students, being taught by two teachers, has been recognised by the Chinese as an effective method for some time, apparently.

I agree that the idea of combining the expertise and ideas of two teachers is appealing, given that they work well together. They would be able to learn from each other, teach the components that best suited their ability and knowledge, plan together and act as a team within the class.
This would also require the same or slightly less resources, so no further strain on the budget.

Looking at it from a students point of view, though, is where my doubts appear and grow.

From my own experience and that of my own children in school now, I am very aware that some children do not do well in large groups. There would be potentially more noise, and more personalities vying for attention. There also seems to be many more students with special needs learning side by side with the general population, or at least, within Tasmania. I can not see how making the classes larger would work to their advantage.

I fear that many students would lose their chance to participate in class discussions given the time restraint given to the subject, thus making them feel more anonymity.

Doubling of classes would also work well in newly built schools, but for the majority of schools, it would mean major renovations.

As this is only my opinion, I would be interested to know what you think of this idea, and what has been your experience with either small and/or large class size.

Mrs. cline's classroom
This class appears on the website mrs clines classroom and is similar in size and structure to our local Primary School