Students are more confident and teachers more relaxed, making for a less stressful environment
Particularly for younger students, class sizes with less than 17 children can greatly benefit development, especially in reading and mathematics. The lower student to teacher ratio also helps draw young children out of their shell and grow in confidence.
Want an insider's perspective? Oct 3 to 24, 2020
Take 90 seconds now, and get free access to the Private School Admissions Pathway, a sequence of virtual events and your own personalized portal to manage your school research and improve your admissions prospects. You'll receive:
- Recommended schools specific to your needs
- A frank look at the challenges and weaknesses of each school
- Insights from parents about what they wish they had known before enrolling
Only available Oct 3-24th. Don't miss out.
Most research studies have focused on the effects of small class sizes in the younger years, but individualized attention is an advantage for students at every level.
It is well known that no two children learn the same way, so when a large group of children are combined in one classroom not all will benefit from the lesson in the same way.
Smaller classes take less of a “one size fits all” approach, and the teacher has the ability to tailor lessons more specifically to different students. Fewer children allow teachers to get to know students, their distinct learning styles and needs, and more time with each student also means more time to address individual questions and explain difficult concepts to students.
To see the impact that a small class size can have on a student, one need not look further than Robert, a Grade 12 student at Tapply Binet College (TBC) in Ancaster, Ontario.
At his previous school, Robert was headed down the wrong path. He wasn't taking university-level classes, nor was he even attending the classes he was enrolled in. Struggling with ADD, his average was in the 60s, and his plans for the future were virtually non-existent. He knew something had to change.
The teacher-student relationship in small classes often helps educators identify learning disabilities and emotional issues early so students can receive the support they need—something that may have helped Robert earlier on in his education. Luckily, he was able to take advantage of small class sizes when he had the chance and is now turning things around.
After only a year at Tapply Binet, which offers classes consisting of one to six students, Robert is earning 90s and will attend Guelph University in the psychology co-op program next year.
The individual attention he receives in classes, the close relationships with teachers and the confidence he gets from seeing the results of his hard work have transformed his relationship with learning.
The atmosphere in small classes is also different. Making friends is easier at all grade levels, and students generally graduate with a close group of friends. Students are more confident and teachers more relaxed, making for a less stressful environment where everyone feels more at home.
"It's weird, every day I want to go to school. At Tapply, I think 'I can do this, I am able, I have the potential to succeed,'" Robert says.