Sunday, May 26, 2013

EPE-Case study: Class Size and Academic Achievement (II)

This is an essay for academic preparation course. I'd like to have it been reviewed and welcome everyone's comments, especially on grammar and structure, thank you.

Is the class size relative to better academic achievement?

To experiment with a specific outcome, in the late 1980s, a Tennessee-sponsored project called “Student-Teacher Achievement Ratio”, or “STAR” was designed to measure students’ performance through widened sample size and exclude the influence factors, such as students’ family background, the ratio of native English speaker. STAR use a different way to optimize the study result, which was assigned students and teachers randomly in different class size. Project STAR continued for four years and analysts conducted multiple records; generally, students have significant improvement in the first grade, even maintained the same performance after they have gone back to large class. Also, another notable result showed that ethnic minority students jumped in achievement impressively compared to previous records.
However, the other analysts have different view, they criticised that the study result did not provide clear evidence of the correlation between good performance and small class size. Despite the fact that, there was consensus among excellent students’ performance when they studied in a class with student number between thirteen to seventeen.

In spite of those
remarkable finds related to the merits of small class size, different education styles implementing in Asia tell different stories in contrast to the benefits of small class size. For a long time, Asian schools kept large class size for each grade, usually more than forty students in one class, which is different from American schools, especially Japanese students, who hold the most remarkable achievement records. Those students highly disciplined and honored to be chosen. The teachers have strong established relationship with students. Although the flexibility in large class is not as much as it is in small class, some records showed that without considering the factors of linguistic and culture diversities, Japanese students can still hold high scores under standard test. 

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