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The Bigger They Are: Does Class Size Really Matter?

Cody Brown, Staff Writer

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As of 2017, Forsyth Central has over 1,941 Student’s on campus. That’s almost 2,000 students this year alone. With this many students, surely you’re starting to feel a little cramped?

The current argument in schools today is all about size. On one side, people believe that the number of students in a classroom sizes do not matter and a student in a class of 10 is as smart as a student in a class of 35. As for the other spectrum, people believe that if a class is too big teachers cannot meet students individual needs.

As a junior, I have experienced both small and large classrooms and in my personal opinion,  I believe that smaller classes are much better.  Whenever I have been in a smaller class I have felt a closer bond with the teacher and therefore a better understanding of the class.

Brianna Lapham is a junior at Central who gets A’s and B’s in school. After sitting down with her she provided some interesting insight . “As far as small classes, I feel like I do benefit because the teacher had more time to focus on us and help with what I wasn’t getting. Bigger classes are ok too. Sure there’s not as much student-teacher focus, but at least projects are easier.”

Erasmus, the Dutch Humanist, recorded in his 1529 study of education, De Pueris Instituendis, about the how small classes (or private tutoring) was better that large classes. He knew however, that parents would disagree because of the price of smaller classes. Lou Anne Johnson, a Los Angeles teacher, also tells in her novel, Dangerous Minds, She goes on to say “When classes are small enough to allow individual student-teacher interaction, a minor miracle occurs: teachers teach and students learn.”

Although smaller classes are much better, it’s hard to deny the price of these smaller classes. If our school decided to cut class sizes down from 35 to even 12, we would have to expand our campus three fold. This is a large expansion that definitely doesn’t happen overnight. Though it would be beneficial for a student’s knowledge the same can’t be said for those paying the bill. I believe that while this is a good counter argument, it could help the community just as much as they say it could harm it. More jobs, higher education, and a better community.

For those who don’t know me, I’m not that good with numbers. It’s not always the teacher’s fault but there are times I can’t help but fail. That is why my favorite teacher is Mrs. Fagan. Who is Mrs. Fagan you may ask? Well to me she was a Geometry support teacher and a life line. The class I had with her had about 14-15 students, a pretty fair number, and I loved it! I couldn’t get over the fact that I was able to go to her anytime of day and get help with my work. The class was so direct that instead of struggling, I was able to finish my work early in her class.

Though it would be expensive, let’s say we tried it once. Although student education would excel,the price would be colossal. We would have to buy new land, new buildings would have to be constructed and of course hire way more teachers. However, with the knowledge students will receive, we could improve the economy and increase our society in ways we could only dream of. Would you pay for for a higher education?

Whether you believe that smaller classes would be beneficial to a student’s education, or you believe that it’s ok and students should keep what they have, we should always consider what would be best for our students and their future.

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