16 January 2011

The Dilemma: Smaller Classes or Invest in Teachers?

As a new teacher going into a small central school I really do not have to worry about class sizes. My class sizes range from 3 students through to 14 students. The challenges are sometimes more to do with professional development and professional learning. Nevertheless, with the technology that is available in the 21st Century there are so many different ways to explore and learn.

A recent national survey found that those surveyed thought that investment in schools to lower class sizes was more important to raising student outcomes than investing in teachers through either recruiting the best graduates or providing bonus pay for achieving outcomes. Interestingly, this is contrary to a recent study which found that lower class sizes were not the most effective way of raising student outcomes.

The survey found that many of those surveyed believed that the investment in schools was an effective way to build a strong economy. The survey was undertaken by Interconsult for the Australian Education Union. The results will be released and discussed in full at the AEU conference that is set to start today.

My personal opinion is that both options running concurrently is a better way of going about it. Smaller class sizes in conjunction with increased teacher support through improved professional development and learning opportunities for teachers.

When it is all said and done, I am itching to get out to Collarenebri and get started.

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