How big should our classroom sizes be? What is the optimal, what is the number that could be considered far too big for any type of meaningful learning? Just the other day, I was having this conversation with an out-of-state acquaintance and it occurred to me that this is indeed a tough question. It would seem that we need more empirical evidence to properly answer it. And still, after the control group is tested, we might ask ourselves what are we really testing for?
Okay so, these are great questions, and so I explained to my acquaintance that I'd really have to think on this overnight. Meanwhile, just from an off-the-top of my head, it seems to me that smaller groups allow for more questions and encouragement of questions by students, making it participatory in nature. If the instructor handles it right, it can be an incredible learning experience. Yes, "I" believe smaller classrooms are better, but I'd like to see the empirical data on studies.
21 is a number that has always struck me as a tipping point.
Behavior issues in today's schools is out-of-control, it's the parent's fault and the teachers often are not backed-up by the schools administration, and everyone tip-toes on potential parental litigation, it's sickening. Throw in the unions - Ouch. Now then, with all that said; I really like that Michelle Rhee lady in DC. And I am really positive on the concept of ARPA-ed or the Advanced Research Project Agency for Education. Why you ask?
Well, I wrote a book not too long ago on Holographic Imagery of the Future, and I believe such immersion technology in the classrooms, the modern classrooms of the future, will make learning easy, fun, exciting, and just like being there. For instance, each of the class-rooms four walls could be giant large screens - think IMAX Theatre - type situation. For history the students might be in a boat (actually in their seats) crossing the Delaware with George Washington's in the next boat over. Imagine that!