Can technology be the solution to managing classrooms that are growing and budgets decreasing?
With the growth in student population to nine million, large schools are becoming the norm, implying that average class size has grown. Meaning teachers are instructing the dreaded supersized classrooms. What are the challenges of teaching huge classes, and what are the solutions? Robin Dunbar proposed that humans have a cognitive limit of 150 persons in human relationships in one setting. A teacher teaching 30 pupils in 6 separate classes will undoubtedly exceed this limit. According to the Department of Education (DfE), the average class size is 27.6, with 30 pupils per class being the limit, indicating that class size is reaching its limit. How will the anticipated increase in school size influence the cognitive capacity of teachers?
Several obstacles have an impact on the teacher’s cognitive limit in class. For starters, one study found that bigger classrooms are regarded adversely by students as affecting their development and involvement with the teacher. The thought is motivated by the belief that big class sizes result in disorder, a poor learning environment, and difficulties with behavior control. Second, huge schools are under-equipped, resources scarce, and some classes lack the basic requirements. The teacher has to be innovative with whatever is available, straining the teacher in the long run. Finally, there is the evaluation process; larger classes involve more marking, meaning more time spent grading work outside of the lesson. The solution may be to give simple to-grade assessment tasks, robbing students of the opportunity to acquire critical thinking and application skills. All of this labor leads to teacher burnout. What are the solutions to this looming problem?
Three remedies are available to help with the problem. One option is to reduce the class size to the suggested 18-20 students, which is the optimum number of students for each class. However, in the case of a large school, this may not be practicable due to the increased number of groups it will create. The second option is to hire teaching assistants, which may have little influence on student achievement and will be costly in the long term. The third idea is to change the viewpoint on the situation and look at it from a different aspect. Is the issue, for example, class size or learning strategies? If class size is reduced, with bad learning practices at play, the outcome may be the same. The absolute solution is in class management, such as using technology tools to guarantee that lessons are captivating, that the learning environment is optimized, and that student-teacher connections are not compromised.
One such tool provides all of the above and more. It produces engaging classes while fostering a good learning atmosphere in which the teacher may connect with pupils individually. Furthermore, it contains built-in digital real-time evaluation. It allows for quick identification and assistance of students who are falling behind because all digitally submitted work is immediately graded in class. Increasing time for better student-teacher relationships, creating a more lively learning environment, more accurate marking, and reduced teacher workload. Is there a perfect class or school size? No, there is a tool that is appropriate for every size school!