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Looking at the Evidence Essay

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Educational performance can be improved by certain approaches. According to NBC News (1997), seventy percent of Americans claim that students’ academic achievement can be developed dramatically by small-size classes. However, it can be argued that ability-based sets and parental involvement resulted in more significant influence. Consequently, this essay will discuss which schemes contribute to academic success most. In the first place, analysts have suggested that students can obtain advantages from small classes.

Finn and Achilles (2001) found that small classes’ students obtained 20% higher academic results than those who studied in normal-size classes; and this difference appeared to be even more significance in minority nationalities. Moreover, Mosteller (2009) discovered that there is a considerable difference in academic attainment between different sizes classes. Indeed, lower student numbers’ classes presented better learning outcome than large sizes classes by 20% marks. In contrast, other evidence shows that the benefits of reduction in student numbers are insignificant.

According to NAEP, pupils in small classes do not achieve better scores than those in big classes (Johnson, 2000). In addition, Hanushek (2001) indicated that the benefit is not clear as there is little evidence which show that students’ further improvements could be influenced by their small classes’ learning experience. Apart from this, Zorpette (2001) demonstrated that Asian students in huge classes achieved brilliant score. Although reducing class size is constantly being advanced, this expensive and inefficient attempt does not satisfy people’s expectations.

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One relative factor is that grouping students by their ability has magnificant effect on educational improvement. This is because teachers can teach more effectively as they can apply diverse teaching strategies to different groups (Ward, 2006). Hence, students’ needs have been satisfied separately by different study materials and assignments (Ward,2006). Conversely, it can be argued that streaming and setting is an invalid approach. In other words, poor students can be negatively affected by placing them in a lower grade group (NFER).

For instance, their attitudes, motivation and self-esteem have been distorted and damaged (NFER). Consequently, leading low-ability students back to mainstream becomes an impossible task. This may be partly true, but it is highly unlikely that one pupil performs underachieves on all subjects, he must at least be skilled at one particular subject. Thus, divided students by their ability for different courses rather than grouping them by their overall scores is the correct action. According to a report from NFER, this grouping strategy is increasingly popular in America’s primary schools.

Besides this, the evidence suggests that parental involvement is a contributing aspect of academic success. Firstly, in the case of the family environment, Zorpette (2001) implies that children who grow up in a stable family are more likely to obtain higher academic results. In other words, the harmonious relationship of their family can help them concentrate on the study. In addition, Ehrenberg (2001) mentioned that parents’ educational level affected their children’s academic potential. Meanwhile, Apart from schooling, educated parents can coach children in homework.

In conclusion, small-size classes’ influence on academic achievement is negligible; by contrast, group teaching method and parents’ participation bring great benefit to the students. 517 words.

Reference List NBC News, March 1997 Jeremy Finn, The State University of New York, 2001 Charles M. Achiles, Eastern Michigan University, 2001 Frederick Mosteller, 2009\ Kirk A. Johnson, Ph. D . Center for Data Analysis Report, 9TH June 2000 Eric Hanushek, Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, 2001 The Asian Paradox, Zorpette,G. , 2001 Claudia Ward, 2006.

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