chapter  11
Class size and collaborative approaches and group work
Pages 13

Small classes can offer opportunities for teachers to teach more effectively (Anderson, 2000; Benwell, 2008) and they can create facilitating conditions for teachers to teach and students to learn (Wang and Finn, 2000). During the 2000s in the UK, the Class Size and Pupil-Adult Ratio (CSPAR) study was conducted to investigate the effects of class size on pupils’ learning in their everyday classroom setting. CSPAR broadly confirms the results found in the US regarding the negative correlation between pupil achievement and class size (Achilles, 1996; Blatchford, 2003; Blatchford and Mortimore, 1994; Blatchford, Bassett, Goldstein, and Martin, 2003; Pate-Bain, Fulton, and Boyd-Zaharias, 1999); in other words, smaller classes benefit pupil school achievements. Through classroom observation, a number of effects of class size on classroom processes have also been found, including an impact on teaching practice, learning and behaviour of pupils. Blatchford, Bassett, and Brown (2005, 2008) further found pupils in large classes are more likely to simply listen to the teacher, whereas, in smaller classes pupils interact in an active way with teachers by initiating, responding, and sustaining contact.