chapter  3
East Asian contexts of small class teaching: Policies and practices
Pages 17

A major contextual difference between the east and the west in reducing class sizes is their demographic trends (see Chapter 2, this volume). Different from the west, in Asian countries the advocacy or adoption of class reduction policy emerged when there was a decline in the birth rate in the 1990s in places in China like Shanghai and Nanjing. The decrease in the demand for school places provided a solution for the authorities who wanted to address teacher retention while at the same time it provided an opportunity to implement what came to be called ‘small class teaching’ (SCT) to enhance student learning.