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Are Class Sizes Growing Too Large in Calgary?

Calgary Municipal Election

In the Calgary public school system, class sizes have grown over the past few years and now it is not uncommon for classes to have 40 or more students1.

 

Classes of 40 students are too large

Classes of 40 students are OK

Optimized Student Learning

Whatever happens to students environments, they are ultimately responsible for their own educations.

Optimized Student Learning

Class sizes have become much too large for efficient learning, and in effect are setting students up for failure.  In some cases, students don't have the desks and chairs required for a working space2.  The larger the class size, the less time the teacher is able to spend with individual studnets.  Quality of learning drops not only because of the lack of attention from teachers, but also because of the uncomfortable social situation when students don't have enough space.  Overcrouding has made learning less enjoyable to the point where skipping class has increased.

Educational Costs

It is cheaper to have a large number of students in a single class.  The Calgary School Board is looking at record enrolement in 2013 and has to balance the best instruction with the most cost effective solution.  Parents who feel that their child is struggling due to a large class size can turn to alternatives such as tutoring.

Educational Costs

We should be willing as a society to spend the money required to keep class sizes closer to 30 students.  If spending is done responsibly, we can be cost efficient while maintaining reasonable class sizes.

Many parents are going to tutors, but as this trend increases we move towards a two-tiered system where families who can afford these additional services are more likely to have successful educational experience than those who cannot afford them.

Alternatives

Ideal class size may be different based on the age of the student.

Calgary Class Sizes

What is an appropriate class size range?

1
5

Votes

Classes should have fewer than 30 students
2
1

Vote

Classes should have fewer than 20 students
3
0

Votes

Classes should have fewer than 40 students
4
0

Votes

Class size isn't important
5
0

Votes

Undecided
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References

1.     CBC News: Calgary high school class sizes raise concerns

2.     Metro News: Swelling Calgary class sizes prompt high school student's plea to education minister

3.     Calgary Heral: Public school class sizes surpass Catholic system as enrolment surges

 

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