Much debate, research and commentary about class sizes in schools is limited because of an exclusive concern with class size and pupil academic attainment, and a neglect of classroom processes, which might help explain class size effects (or lack of them). Very little is known about the central question: how can teachers make the most of class size changes? Much of the commentary on class size effects has focused on Western and English-speaking countries but there are promising developments elsewhere, particularly the 'Small Class Teaching' initiatives in East Asia in the past decade, which have brought new knowledge and practical wisdom to the class size debate.
This book seeks to move toward a clearer view of what we know and do not know about class size effects, and to identify future steps in terms of policy and research. There is a huge and exciting potential for international collaboration on knowledge concerning class size effects which can help with research-informed policy. The book aims to draw out Eastern and Western international contexts which underpin any understanding of the role of class size in school learning.
The book has chapters by an international team of experts on class size effects, including Maurice Galton and John Hattie. Chapters are organised into four main sections:
- Socio-cultural and political contexts to the class size debate in the East and West;
- Research evidence on class size;
- Class size and classroom processes likely to be related to class size changes;
- Professional development for small class teaching in East Asia.
Table of Contents
Part I: Introduction
1. Bringing together east and west approaches to the class size issue: An introduction to ‘Class Size: East and West perspectives’ Peter Blatchford, Maurice Galton and Kwok Chan Lai
Part II: Socio-cultural and political context
2. Eastern and Western perspectives: Educational and policy contexts and how they have shaped approaches to class size Kwok Chan Lai, Peter Blatchford and Beifei Dong
3. East Asian contexts of small class teaching: Policies and practices John Chi-Kin Lee
Part III: Research evidence on class size
4. Long-term impacts of class size reduction Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
5. Research on class size in France Pascal Bressoux
6. Is it true that class size does not matter? A critical review of research on class size effects Peter Blatchford
7. The right question in the debates about class size: Why is the (positive) effect so small? John Hattie
Part IV: Class size and classroom processes
8. Does class size (still) matter? Jeremy D. Finn and Michele E. Shanahan
9. Creating autonomous learners in small classes: The critical importance of motivation and wellbeing Maurice Galton
10. Classroom interaction in reduced-size classes: a Hong Kong perspective Gary Harfitt
11. Class size and collaborative approaches and group work Kam Wing Chan
Part V: Professional development for small class teaching
12. Teachers’ professional development for small class teaching in Hong Kong and Taiwan Kwok Chan Lai, Kuo-Liang Yen and John Chi-Kin Lee
13. Teachers’ professional development for small class teaching in Shanghai Beifei Dong, Kwok Chan Lai and Kam Wing Chan
14. Catering for diversity in small classes in Nanjing Xiaomei Wang, Jian Yang, Kam Wing Chan and Kwok Chan Lai
15. Curriculum adaptation in small class environment in Hong Kong Ellen Yuefeng Zhang, John Chi-Kin Lee and Michael Ho-Fai Chau
16. Enhancing the effectiveness of small class teaching through innovative learning environments in Hong Kong schools Kam Wing Chan
17. Utilizing pedagogical strategies of the learner-centred model in primary small class teaching settings in Hong Kong Celeste Y.M. Yuen
Part VI: Future developments
18. Eastern and Western approaches to class size: Conclusions and future directions Peter Blatchford
Peter Blatchford is Professor of Psychology and Education at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London and Honorary and Visiting Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong (formerly the Hong Kong Institute of Education).
Kam Wing Chan is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Honorary Advisor in the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at the Education University of Hong Kong. He was formerly the Director of the Centre for Small Class Teaching at the University.
Maurice Galton is Emeritus Professor with the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and Former Dean of Education and Continuing Education at the University of Leicester; previously he was Visiting Professor at Hong Kong Institute of Education and evaluator of the Hong Kong Government's small class teaching programme from 2004 to 2014.
Kwok Chan Lai is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Honorary Advisor in the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at the Education University of Hong Kong. He was the founding Director of the Centre for Small Class Teaching from 2006 to 2012.
John Chi-Kin Lee is Vice President (Academic) and Chair Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, as well as Co-Director of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, at the Education University of Hong Kong. He was conferred the title of Changjiang Chair Professor.