Last week I have talked about about the advantages and disadvantages of small class learning (SCL). Obviously, SCL has lots of benefits, such as better academic performance, improved learning attitude, and superior teaching quality. Although SCL possess a lot of advantages, drawbacks are still exist. For example, some research shown that current social resources doesn’t fit the requirement of SCL. This week we are going to discuss what kind of factors that should be taken into account when implementing SCL. We will look at the factors in terms of teacher’s personality and teaching strategy.
Firstly, the review literature of Wilson, V., Flodenk, R., & Ferrini-Mundy, J. (2001) pointed out the experiment of Pate-Bain et al (1992). In this study, it showed the personal characteristics of teachers in effective teaching condition of small class learning. This characteristics included enthusiasm towards teaching student, sense of humor in teaching, good communication with student’s parents, and stimulating students through the class activities, etc. Therefore, in this review literature, it is suggested that teachers in small size class should possess those kinds of characteristics.
Then, Wilson, V., Flodenk, R., & Ferrini-Mundy, J. (2001) also suggested that when teachers are trying to implement SCL, they should try to match the lecture program with students’ needs. Moreover, time management in lectures and remain flexible timetable are also the important factors. EnglishClub (no date) also indicated different kind of teaching strategy in SCL. For instance, it mentioned that SCL is a good opportunity for encouraging shy student to express their perspective. Besides, it also emphasized that teachers should take feedback from students in order to know how they feel within the class.
From the above, we can clearly see that the teacher’s personality and teaching strategy applied in SCL. In fact, it is obviously that the teaching strategy in SCL is different from tradition classroom. However, Wilson, V., Flodenk, R., & Ferrini-Mundy, J. (2001) indicated that there were still some teachers in SCL didn’t modify their teaching method. Thus, it is necessary to switch the teaching strategy if SCL is implemented.
EnglishClub (no date). Teaching Small Classes. Retrieved 2 November 2013, from http://www.englishclub.com/teaching-tips/teaching-small-classes.htm
PATE-BAIN, H., ACHILLES, C.M., BOYD-ZAHARIAS, J. & MCKENNA, B. (1992). Class size does make a difference. Phi Delta Kappan, 74, 3, 253-256 cited in Wilson, V., Flodenk, R., & Ferrini-Mundy, J. (2001). Does small really make a difference. A review of the literature on the effects of class size on teaching practice and pupils’ behaviour and attainment.