As Texans, we often live by the motto that “everything is bigger and better in Texas.”
While that may be true for some things (such as our infamous state pride), in some cases, smaller is actually better–especially in the classroom.
Small class size and low student-teacher ratios are frequently lauded for their positive effects on learning and academic success. This can be especially true during the formative years in school when children are first learning to read, write and do math.
A small class is generally defined by one that has 20 students or fewer. Classes at Kirby Hall School in Austin typically fall in this range, with approximately 7 to 12 kids per class in Pre-K4 through 12th grade.
What are the benefits of small class size?
- Students have the chance to participate more often and build self confidence.
- The development of better student-teacher relationships–instructors can help reinforce lessons when needed or encourage and challenge students to work ahead according to individual abilities.
- Learning differences such as dyslexia and dysgraphia are more easily identified in smaller classes, leading to earlier intervention which can be beneficial.
- School attendance and good student behavior tend to be better and more consistent in a small setting.
- In smaller classes, students are encouraged to practice empathy and tolerance as they must learn how to respect and get along with one another despite their differences–there is no escaping into the folds of a larger group.
When looking into class size at a school, remember that number and the student-teacher ratio are based on two different calculations.
Class size is determined by dividing the number of students enrolled by the number of classes, or grades, offered. The student-teacher ratio is figured out by dividing the number of students in the whole school by its total number of teachers.
Kirby Hall School is a private college-preparatory school located in Central Austin offering a challenging curriculum in a loving, nurturing environment for students in Pre-K4 through 12th grade. To learn more about Kirby Hall in Austin, Texas, or to schedule a tour, please visit us here.
(Adapted from the National Education Association)