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Focus On Class Sizes In Schools Is Misguided

Focus On Class Sizes In Schools Is Misguided, Says Australian Analyst

Reducing class sizes in schools would not necessarily improve education and would detract from the importance of improving teacher quality, argues a paper to be released by The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) on Friday, 21 March.

In the paper, 'Reflections on Class Size and Teacher Quality', CIS policy analyst Jennifer Buckingham argues that the benefits of reducing student numbers per class are often exaggerated.

'The findings on class size suggest that there is little if any reason to believe that reducing classes has an effect large enough to warrant the cost.'

The vast majority of studies on class size are either inconclusive or show no correlation between class size and student achievement.

Buckingham argues that the focus on class sizes detracts from the more important issue of teacher quality.

'Smaller classes would require more teachers, yet it is far more valuable, both in educational and fiscal terms, to have good teachers than lots of teachers.'

Copies of the paper are available on request or from the CIS website:

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