Increase class sizes to free up resources for teacher training, says leading academic

The TES is reporting that an education expert has suggested schools should consider increasing class sizes to free up time and money for teachers to receive proper professional development…

Professor Robert Coe, director of the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University, said a debate needed to be opened as to whether class sizes or better teachers were to be a priority in the future.

“Unless there is going to be more funding so schools can employ more teachers, we need to consider how staff can have fewer hours in the classroom so they can undergo proper professional development,” Professor Coe told TES at a Sutton Trust and Gates Foundation conference in Washington DC.

“People often say, would you rather your child be taught in a class of 15 or 30 and obviously I say 15, but I would much rather have a really good teacher who is not exhausted and really on top of their game every day and have that teacher teach more students.”

Class sizes in Singapore are larger than in the UK, enabling their teachers to attend intensive professional development classes, he added.

Professor Coe’s comments come just days after his research showed that teachers who undergo constant and good quality professional development have the biggest impact on student outcomes…

More at: Increase class sizes to free up resources for teacher training, says leading academic

 

I’m not sure how valid the trade-off is, but let’s take Prof Coe at face value and ask which you would choose: smaller class sizes or more professional development? Please tell us which and why….

 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove How will teacher in class with more students be able to cater for every individual in that class? Too many to do so properly

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove With the regularity of marking “required” now the extra “free” time would be taken up with dialogic marking not CPD

  3. ThatRantyGay

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Marking policies in most schools are increasing teacher workload massively. DECREASING class size would help!

  4. andylutwyche

    ThatRantyGay SchoolsImprove Agreed, although that would mean more classes to teach so you can’t win either way. Robbing Peter to pay Paul!

  5. andylutwyche

    ThatRantyGay SchoolsImprove Agreed, although that would mean more classes to teach so you can’t win either way. Robbing Peter to pay Paul!

  6. ThatRantyGay

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Alternatively, schools could/should stop buying into the latest ‘trends’ so readily.

  7. andylutwyche

    ThatRantyGay SchoolsImprove There is that! Or they could stop attempting to interpret Ofsted’s wishes which increases workload infinitely

  8. irvingphil

    SchoolsImprove “Unless there is going to be more funding so schools can employ more teachers” right there’s where he hits on the answer.

  9. ThatRantyGay

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Especially when even Ofsted have made it clear they’re not interested in a lot of the ridiculousness!

  10. andylutwyche

    ThatRantyGay SchoolsImprove Quite! I think that this is one of the depressing parts of being in education at present.

  11. The evidence has been clear for sometime:  changing class sizes from, say 20 to 25, or 25 to 30 has almost no effect on learning.  It is only when the class becomes a small group – at around 12 that the learning is better.
    What is also clear is that teachers need the time to do their CPD.  This suggests that there is a positive trade-off – if class size goes from 25 to 26, this frees up one hour a week for CPD.
    The Evidence-Based Teachers Network. 
    http://www.ebtn.org.uk/

  12. @andylutwyche SchoolsImprove If teachers are spending huge amounts of time marking, they are not following the evidence.  We should make full use of peer and self-assessment.

  13. BarlowCaroline

    SchoolsImprove tes The impossible choice of staff training vs students experience shown as a given: Invest instead & don’t make us choose!

  14. VictoriaJaquiss

    SchoolsImprove The more in the class the harder it is 2 know them individually.It’s not about about teaching at the children. Not a gd idea

  15. Snorrarcisco

    SchoolsImprove Insane, 30 is bad enough an average of less than 2 minutes per student per lesson if one counts starters and plenaries

  16. bentleykarl

    rugby201 SchoolsImprove Of course good teachers can teach well in large classes, but why not let them do it better with smaller ones?

  17. rugby201

    bentleykarl SchoolsImprove exactly my thoughts…do we have any evidence of retention in schools with large classes?

  18. RWHwork

    SchoolsImprove Smaller classes = more attention, smaller marking load = more frequent and high quality marking. It needs to be about them!

  19. dee_laverty

    SchoolsImprove seriously?already difficult to meet all needs given inclusion policies. Rooms already have 33 children and cramped! No!

  20. artmadnana

    SchoolsImprove that would be ok if the quality of professional training was good. Believe me – it’s not! Death by PowerPoint mostly.

  21. RealistBev

    SchoolsImprove cultural ethos and educational values placed on education in Singapore make it acceptable for larger classes .

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