Jim Horn argues against increasing class size. I suggest that class size may not influence student achievement as he and conventional wisdom assert.
Jim’s take that small classes are better seems consistent with conventional wisdom.
Studying influences of class size on student achievement is a technically complicated topic. The overlay of conventional wisdom, political biases, etc. appears to compound these complications.
About 12 years ago, a doctoral student (I have forgotten her name at the moment) at Illinois State University examined all 1,500 plus empirical studies reported in peer reviewed publications on the topic. About half of the studies reported differences, the other half reported no differences in student achievement.
After using sophisticated statistical procedures, she found that class size was not related to student performance, once the size exceeded about 15 students.
In other words, her findings appeared consistent with the impact of small groups on human performance.
Perhaps you know, I don’t, how many such meta studies about class size have been conducted and what their authors found.
In the long view, many technical alternatives exist today (such as electronic communications for individualized instruction) to mitigate whatever affects (not effects) class size may have on the learning rate of an individual student.
Kudos to teachers who emphasize these alternatives. I wonder how I’d design a study to test the affect of mitigations of class size on learning rates of various ages of students?