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The Enduring Effects of Small Classes


This investigation examines the immediate and long term effects of small classes on primary grade (K-3) students' academic achievement using data from Tennessee's Project STAR, a statewide controlled experiment on class size. The study presents interesting results that are discussed in terms of implications for class-size reduction initiatives and further research questions.

Abstract: "The purpose of this investigation was to extend our knowledge of the effects of small classes in the primary grades on pupils' academic achievement. Three questions were addressed that have not been answered in previous research: (1) How large are the effects of small classes relative to the number of years students participate in those classes? (2) How much does any participation in small classes in K-3 affect performance in later grades when all classes are full-size? (3) How much does the duration of participation in small classes in K-3 affect the magnitude of the benefits in later grades (4, 6, and 8)?"

NOTE: This resource is published on the Teachers College Record web site. The link above will take you to an abstract page. To view the full-text for this article, you will need to either sign-in to Teachers College Record with the appropriate membership or purchase this article.