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Here’s how Smaller Class Sizes Affect Students’ Performance

Smaller class sizes not always better for students

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Smaller Class sizes can have a negative impact on students' achievement and performance. Pixabay

Researchers have found that smaller class sizes are not always associated with better pupil performance and achievement.

“This finding is perhaps due to the fact that class size effects are more likely to be detected in countries with limited school resources where teacher quality is lower on average,” said study researcher Spyros Konstantopoulos from Michigan State University in the US.

The precise effect of smaller class sizes can vary between countries, academic subjects, years, and different cognitive and non-cognitive skills, with many other factors likely playing a role, according to the study published in the journal Research Papers in Education.

Smaller class sizes in schools are generally seen as highly desirable, especially by parents. With smaller class sizes, teachers can more easily maintain control and give more attention to each pupil.

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The precise effect of smaller class sizes can vary between countries, academic subjects, years, and different cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Pixabay

As such, many countries limit the maximum size of a class, often at around 30 pupils.

for the findings, the researchers decided to analyse data produced by the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

Every four years since 1995, TIMSS has monitored the performance and achievement of fourth grade (age 9-10) and eighth grade (age 13-14) pupils from around 50 countries in mathematics and science.

It records pupils’ academic ability in these subjects and their self-reported attitude and interest in them, and also contains information on class sizes.

To make the analysis more manageable, the researchers limited it to data from eighth grade pupils in four European countries – Hungary, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia – collected in 2003, 2007 and 2011.

They chose these four countries because they all mandate maximum class sizes, which would help to make the statistical analysis more reliable.

Despite these limitations, the data still encompassed 4,277 pupils from 231 classes in 151 schools, making it much larger than most previous studies on class size.

The analysis revealed that smaller class sizes were associated with benefits in Romania and Lithuania, but not in Hungary and Slovenia.

Smaller class sizes
Smaller class sizes in schools are generally seen as highly desirable, especially by parents. Pixabay

The beneficial effects were most marked in Romania, where smaller classes were associated with greater academic achievement in mathematics, physics, chemistry and earth science, as well as greater enjoyment of learning mathematics.

In Lithuania, however, smaller class sizes were mainly associated with improvements in non-cognitive skills such as greater enjoyment in learning biology and chemistry, rather than higher academic achievement in these subjects.

The beneficial effects were also only seen in certain years.

“Most class size effects were not different than zero, which suggests that reducing class size does not automatically guarantee improvements in student performance,” said Konstantopoulos.

“Many other classroom processes and dynamics factor in and have to work well together to achieve successful outcomes in student learning,” Konstantopoulos said.

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The researchers think smaller class sizes may have had greater beneficial effects on pupils in Romania and Lithuania than in Hungary and Slovenia because schools in Romania and Lithuania have fewer resources. (IANS)

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I Have Evolved as an Actor: Kriti Sanon

Bollywood Actress Kriti Sanon says that she is very critical of her performances

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Kriti Sanon talks about how she is critical about her performances in movies. Wikimedia Commons

BY SIMRAN SETHI

Actress Kriti Sanon made her Bollywood debut five years ago with “Heropanti”, and since then has never looked back. Last year, she featured in the multistarrer biggie “Housefull 4” with Akshay Kumar, and also starred in the multiplex superhit “Lukka Chuppi” opposite Kartik Aaryan. Her other two films last year, “Panipat” and “Arjun Patiala”, may have fared below expectations but her performance in these films were applauded.

Kriti feels she is evolving as an actor.

Kriti Sanon
Kriti Sanon says that her acting process is very organic and spontaneous but it does require a bit of homework. Wikimedia Commons

“I have definitely evolved as an actor over the years. I had no training in any filmmaking course, and I don’t have a film background. Whatever I have learned is on the job. My acting process is very organic and spontaneous but it does require a bit of homework. There’s no fixed formula. One should be able to understand his or her craft better, and figure out what’s working and what’s not. Or, one needs to work by hit and trial or think of how else you can surprise the audience. All these things keep me growing,” she told IANS.

Kriti also believes in analysing her work. “When it comes to my performance I am very much critical about it. I analyse my performances and see what went wrong or right. I feel the day I really get happy or satisfied then my mind will become stagnant. That’s what I don’t want.

“I have learned from mistakes and by doing this, I feel I have broadened my horizon. Now I look at things from different perspective,” she added.

Kriti Sanon
Kriti Sanon also believes in analysing her work. Wikimedia Commons

Not only this, the 29-year-old is now open to do more risky and challenging roles. And this realisation came to her a little more after portraying the role of Parvati Bai in Ashutosh Gowariker’s “Panipat”.

“Roles like Parvati Bai encourage you and give you the confidence of doing something different. It was not easy for me to essay that character because it was based on a real person who is an important figure of our history. I am fortunate that I got the chance to do that role and I feel I am more confident to take risks now and surprise people, and myself too.”

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In 2020, Kriti is all set to woo her fans with the roles she has never done before on screen. She will be seen playing a surrogate mother in “Mimi”, and is also a part of Akshay Kumar’s “Bachchan Pandey”.

“I am very much excited for ‘Mimi’ because it is the first film that weighs completely on my shoulders. The topic of the film is very important and not many films have properly been made on the subject of surrogacy. I am very happy to work with people who have managed to create such an important movie,” Kriti emphasised. (IANS)