#3 Small class size allows more individualized instruction. Research finds consistent and substantial impact on student achievement when classes are smaller, especially in lower grades.
✦ Small class size is associated with higher academic achievement, especially in lower grades (K-3).
✦ The achievement gains due to small class size are greatest among disadvantaged and minority students.
✦ The academic effects of small classes in lower grades persist in middle and high school years, even if students are subsequently moved to larger classes.
#4 Good teaching methods are easier to implement. Instructional practices such as flexible scheduling, looping, multiage classes, and experiential learning tend to flourish in smaller settings. Because change is easier to implement in a smaller setting, smaller learning environments create a context hospitable to reform.
Excerpted from a report entitled The Hobbit* Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools. The report focuses on attributes of small schools where there is a general consensus in the research about their positive impact for kids. They believe that good schools, close to home are the right of every child. In rural communities, that means keeping small schools open and making them the best schools they can be. They want to dispel the illusion that bigger is better. I’ll share their perspective on each of the Ten Research-Based Reasons Why Small Works. “The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools,” by Lorna Jimerson
*The main characters of JRR Tolkien’s books, Hobbits are small in size, but huge in courage and unrelenting in their focus on attaining their goals. In addition, they fully appreciate their rural roots and gladly return home when their quest is fulfilled.