The Shame Of Our School Classrooms

Great Britain’s National Teacher’s Union(NUT) warned of a “national scandal” regarding the presence of oversized classes and demanded action by the British government. A recent study indicates Great Britain ranks 23rd out of 30 Western countries in class size. A survey by the Orgnization for Economic Development revealed the average class size for children in independent schools was 10.7 compared to just over 26 in state schools. At the annual conference of the NUT teachers told of class sizes reaching 52 and 5 5 which were being taught by a teacher with assistants. NUT is prepared to recommend action such as a national strike of teachers in order to force action by the government to confront this issue.

The issue of class size is tricky since no one really knows what is the most effective in order to achieve excellent results. This issue is related to others such as the purpose of education. Today, the emphasis on testing results in teachers altering the curriculum to emphasize test scores. When all is said and done, reducing class sizes and finding excellent teachers most probably wll result in stimulating creative and critical thinking which should always be the main goals of education.