We’ve all heard that small class sizes are good for the education of a child (or even an adult, if you’re considering college students). When you look at the brochures for many private schools and colleges, small class size is always one of the things that they mention as one of their advantages over other schools and colleges. At times, they might even give you their average class ration e.g. 10:1 would mean that there are ten students for every teacher in a class.
The Benefits of Small Class Sizes
One obvious advantage of having small class sizes is that the teacher will be able to give personal attention to each student in the class. Different students pick up things at different paces. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. A teacher can be cognizant of these things when the class size is small.
They can make sure that every child is following what’s going on in class, even those who might be having trouble with the concepts being taught there. And if there are children who are picking things up very quickly, they can give them extra work or exercises to make sure that they don’t get bored and drift off. When the class size is large, this kind of personal attention is not always possible.
Speaking up in Class
Another advantage of a small class size is that each child gets to have a say. This means that each child gets to speak up in class, even if they are not always very talkative. When the class size is small, it’s easier to have a discussion which involves every member of the class.
When the class size is large, everyone isn’t going to have a say. There might be students who go the entire semester without saying anything in class. And the teacher won’t be able to encourage them to talk because they have a lot of material to get through.
Preparing the Child for the Real World
You may not realize it but speaking up in class is a great way to prepare a child for life. Later on in life, a child is going to have to speak up, either in college or at work or in their personal lives. If they’re not encouraged to express their opinion early on, they won’t have the confidence necessary to do so later.
This is not to say that the child is going to be encouraged to be an extrovert. There are children who are introverts and that’s fine. The idea is not to try to forcibly change the personality of the child. It is to encourage the child to express his/her opinions as and when needed because this is an important real-world skill that will help them in life later on.
Besides, a class discussion can be very stimulating to the intellect also. When a child hears what other people think about a certain issue, that gives them more to think about. And when they express their own opinions and other people recognize them, that can also give the child positive reinforcement.
When the class size is small, the teacher can make sure that the class discussion is lively. They can call on all the children to express their opinions and have an intellectual debate, something which would be far more difficult if the class size were larger.
So if you’re considering sending your child to a private school, you can keep in mind the small class size and why this is an advantage for your child. Contact us for more information about furthering the intellectual development of your child.