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American Schools: Over Crowed And Under Educated

1051 words - 4 pages

Over Crowed and Under Educated
Visualize a school constructed to accommodate only eight hundred middle school students packed with over four thousand. At South Gate Middle School in Las Angeles, CA this is reality, and the results are shocking. Various students do not have textbooks, or even a desk to sit at, plus with class sizes in the fifties learning is particularly difficult(California). This struggle is one that these students cope with every day and it must change if these children are expected to be taught. Congested learning environment makes it difficult for students to focus on their education. Furthermore, it confines the amount of time instructors can spend on innovative teaching methods such as collaborative learning or group projects, and teaching anything beyond the minimum of mandatory course work is nearly impossible. Class sizes need to be cut down to a maximum of 18 students per classroom if our educational system is ever expected to progress. Once classes are smaller the benefits are vast; including better grades due to individual instruction, and enhanced communications skills
Everyone will benefit from individual instruction as well as personal tutoring made possible by smaller class sizes. Since teachers will have more time to explain the material in various learning styles fewer children will fall behind in their studies. When classes are smaller, teachers spend less time demanding order and more time teaching. For example, in my first semester in college, I took a fundamental English course with a class size around 30 students. The professor would call roll, and then she spent nearly fifteen minutes attempting to gain control of the class , as a consequence class time was significantly shortened. I agree with Russell when he says, “Obedience and discipline are supposed to be indispensable if order is to be kept in a class…”(Russell) but college students should have self discipline. A professor must have some control in the classroom in order for students to hear important assignments, and test dates, but in this atmosphere very little learning was happening. Nevertheless, I took the same teacher the following semester for a British Literature class that held only 12 students and my educational experience was significantly more beneficial. The professor could take one or two minutes to quickly scan the classroom for absent students and then class began immediately. In this smaller setting the class was able to have open discussions, and the professor could elaborate about complex material if anybody was puzzled. I enjoyed attending this class far more, and I feel as though I gained a greater deal of knowledge due to the smaller class size. The classes were similar in subject matter, location, and professor; therefore, I believe that class size was the only variable for the two entirely different experiences. In order for our educational system to make progress, classes must be cut down to smaller more manageable...

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