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Economics and Classroom Size


In America, as well as some other countries, the focus for class sizes is smaller, smaller, smaller, to give students individual attention. It can be a shock for new English teachers to walk into a classroom of forty students. Even in America, though, budget cuts are forcing schools to expand class sizes, giving parents concern. This article details the cuts in one San Diego school district.


In America the common wisdom seems to be that with less students in the classroom the teacher can give the students individual attention, whereas in Japan it's considered better to have a large classroom where students can help their peers. In a way large classrooms can foster independence if the students have a sense of responsibility- or can turn chaotic if they don't.


Currently, though, the models seem to be reversing. Budget cuts are forcing American schools to have larger sizes, and the population decrease is shrinking Japanese classrooms. While both these styles have merit on their own, when forced upon schools by outside changes teachers can have difficulty coping and lessons suffer.


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