The Hobbit Effect Part 6

Ten Research-based Reasons Why Small Works #6 Teachers Feel Better About Their Work

Smallness impacts educators as well as students. Teachers in small schools tend to be more satisfied with their positions, have less absenteeism, collaborate more with colleagues, and take greater responsibility for student learning.

In addition, small schools are places where teachers have a stronger sense of professional community and more opportunities for working as a team.

Also smallness is associated with teachers having more autonomy and initiating innovative
reforms more often on their own Some of the more recent literature on small learning communities emphasizes that professional development in small schools is often perceived
as more valuable and effective. It tends to be more focused on school priorities, ongoing, and peer-led—all qualities that teachers and researchers have identified as elements of professional development that increase student learning.

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.

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