Difference between revisions of "Talk:Essay:Advantages of Large Classes"

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:::: I think the subject is very important. My majors were all hard science subjects (physics, chemistry, mathmatics) which are not that conducive to insights, but more about not experimenting and blow up the lab. Perhaps in History, English and such the students input would be more relevent even if steered by the teacher  [[User:Markr|Markr]] 15:46, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
 
:::: I think the subject is very important. My majors were all hard science subjects (physics, chemistry, mathmatics) which are not that conducive to insights, but more about not experimenting and blow up the lab. Perhaps in History, English and such the students input would be more relevent even if steered by the teacher  [[User:Markr|Markr]] 15:46, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
 
:::::My first school had class sizes of forty-plus, and was a deeply religious establishment where classroom prayer was the norm. I worked hard in such a supportive and inspirational environment, and am on course for achieving a doctorate within 2-3 years. Coincidence? [[User:Bugler|Bugler]] 18:10, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
 
:::::My first school had class sizes of forty-plus, and was a deeply religious establishment where classroom prayer was the norm. I worked hard in such a supportive and inspirational environment, and am on course for achieving a doctorate within 2-3 years. Coincidence? [[User:Bugler|Bugler]] 18:10, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
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:::::: More than a coincidence, obviously.  Students in big classes learn to be competitive, to speak in front of large groups, and to gain insights from others.  Small groups are less challenging and less educational, and students benefit less from them.  Simple statistics dictate that students are going to make fewer friends and hear fewer insights from classmates.  Maybe liberals like smaller classes (in addition to the political benefit to the Left of more teachers for the unions) because the students' minds become easier to control and mislead in smaller groups.  Try teaching liberal propaganda to a large class and watch the students start to question it.--[[User:Aschlafly|Aschlafly]] 18:24, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
  
 
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"...are so indoctrinated about the push for smaller class size that '''they''' will insist on it for homeschooling classes" missing word is on bold. [[User:Human|Human]] 17:50, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
 
"...are so indoctrinated about the push for smaller class size that '''they''' will insist on it for homeschooling classes" missing word is on bold. [[User:Human|Human]] 17:50, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

Revision as of 16:24, 18 October 2008

I had large and small classes in both high school and college. I much preferred the small classes (less than 25 or so); I learned better, I made better friends and I had a much closer relationship with the teacher.

For four years I went to a very small school. At its biggest point there were 80 something kids from K-12! My average class size was anywhere from 4-16. This has its own disadvantages though: team sports were non-existent, the band and choir program were lacking, and if cliques arose they would be much more devastating. But that's just my experience.HelpJazz 12:08, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

Your second paragraph identifies why large classes have key advantages. Your first paragraph merely repeats the misperception. You didn't have large classes in high school, and you don't know if you really learned better in the smaller classes. The large classes inevitably have better competition, more insights, and better socializing.--Aschlafly 12:22, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
I did have large classes in high school, and in college, and for that matter, elementary school. The first time I had a class with fewer than 30 students was probably the 6th grade. I'm not saying that small classes are always better, just that, for me, they were. I'm also agreeing with you that small schools do have problems, which is part of the reason that I moved back to a larger school in the 10th grade. HelpJazz 12:45, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
HelpJazz, I appreciate your candid comments, but note how they illustrate my point. This issue is not a matter of what one "likes", but what is good for him. Our society is becoming more introverted, and sociologists say it is not healthy. I'm sure many students do prefer a small class and perhaps even smaller parties. Obviously many prefer to watch TV all by themselves. But that is not what is "advantageous".--Aschlafly 14:25, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
I think that both have advantages and disadvantages. Different subjects also are probably better taught in different ways, as well. A big group discussion about history can be great. Some topics, though, like calculus, I think benefit from a small student to teacher ratio because of the mental leap involved in understanding it. Corry 13:01, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

In high school we had groups of about 40 students and it was difficult to get the teacher to explain something individually. I never heard much in the way of great insight from a high school student, there is often a lack of life experiance to draw from for that. If 6 or more students need to be expelled from a class for the day for discipline then in my opinion the teacher is a miserable failure since maintaining control is a core element of teaching. I do agree that in recent years the class sizes have become so small that one wonders at the justification for it since test scores do not reflect an improvement. In the college I attended the lectures were often 50 - 150 students and the lecturer asked no questions and did not allow student questions. You had to consult a tutor for any additional help. It worked well because the pattern was , lecture, tutorial , practicle session. the practice session was where we worked through a set of questions and had the lecturer or tutor available to explain. Markr 13:06, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

Socially, a large party is usually better than a small party, all else being equal. There are more people to meet and interact with. The social dynamics of the classroom are no different. A small class means seeing and hearing from the same handful of people over and over. Tedium and depression set in quickly.
If you've never learned anything from a high school student, then you're missing the boat entirely. Most of mankind's greatest works, writings, insights, discoveries, proofs, etc., were by teenagers. The larger your class, the greater the chance of something special coming from the students, all else being equal.--Aschlafly 13:59, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
Mankind's greatest works were done by teenagers? That seems like a slight exaggeration. Can you give some examples? BenR 15:22, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
I think the party thing is a matter of opinion. I'm pretty introverted, so I absolutely hate large parties and prefer small, intimate parties. Additionally, in a large classroom, even though there's a higher chance of there being someone there who can teach me something, I'm much less likely to actually talk to anyone. I can spend all day with 4 or 5 good friends (and in fact regularly do so), but after 2 hours of a large group I have to go home and "discharge". On the other hand, I do know people who get bored in small groups and have no problem chatting up the student sitting next to them in a large lecture. HelpJazz 14:05, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
My experience is that in larger classes it's easier for people to sit in the back and not participate. A smaller class doesn't give that opportunity. I'm in a program right now that has both large lectures and small groups. I tend to learn the material better in the small group sessions, as it's easier for the instructor to take time and go over a complicated topic in detail and work on individual comprehension problems with the students. The students are better prepared for the small groups than the large lectures, and for some classes the students take turns actually leading the small groups, with the instructor acting more as a facilitator. This seems to me to be a pretty good way to teach students to be self-reliant in their education. Corry 15:36, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
I think the subject is very important. My majors were all hard science subjects (physics, chemistry, mathmatics) which are not that conducive to insights, but more about not experimenting and blow up the lab. Perhaps in History, English and such the students input would be more relevent even if steered by the teacher Markr 15:46, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
My first school had class sizes of forty-plus, and was a deeply religious establishment where classroom prayer was the norm. I worked hard in such a supportive and inspirational environment, and am on course for achieving a doctorate within 2-3 years. Coincidence? Bugler 18:10, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
More than a coincidence, obviously. Students in big classes learn to be competitive, to speak in front of large groups, and to gain insights from others. Small groups are less challenging and less educational, and students benefit less from them. Simple statistics dictate that students are going to make fewer friends and hear fewer insights from classmates. Maybe liberals like smaller classes (in addition to the political benefit to the Left of more teachers for the unions) because the students' minds become easier to control and mislead in smaller groups. Try teaching liberal propaganda to a large class and watch the students start to question it.--Aschlafly 18:24, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

typo

"...are so indoctrinated about the push for smaller class size that they will insist on it for homeschooling classes" missing word is on bold. Human 17:50, 18 October 2008 (EDT)