Imagine your child is in an elementary classroom of 30 to 35 students of varying ability levels and interests. The distractions abound and the teacher spends a good deal of time redirecting improper behavior while attempting to teach core skills. Your child sinks into the back row unnoticed and falling further behind. Sadly, that’s the situation in many public schools. Contrast that with a class of 12 to 15 students sitting and interacting with the teacher at a large table. An environment of inclusion and participation is created and learning is inevitable.
Research abounds about the positive effects on learning and socialization of low teacher to student ratio at any grade level through college. At Chatsworth Hills Academy in the San Fernando Valley, small class size is a primary cornerstone of our academic philosophy. Our remarkably low 15:1 student to teacher ratio along with our exceptional teaching staff are keys to CHA students receiving the very best educational outcomes. Our teachers thrive in the effective small group environment that allows them to cultivate happy, relaxed, enthusiastic learning. Here are some of the most important reasons we insist on keeping our class sizes small.
More Chances To Participate
In a small class setting, students are encouraged and able to engage in classroom discussions, to express their opinions and to defend their ideas. This open opportunity boosts learning by allowing students to use content-specific vocabulary in context, practice speaking skills and increase engagement with the material. Students develop self-confidence and critical thinking skills. Fewer students in a class gives more time for them to express their ideas and opinions and tell others why they think they way they do. These varying perspectives enhance their understanding of others and enrich their international education.
Better Student-Teacher Relationships
Students who have a positive relationship with their instructor learn best and are more willing to tackle difficult concepts. It stands to reason that the fewer students in a class the better chance that the teacher has to develop these strong relationships with each student. Teachers are better able to discover how each student is best motivated to learn. Students are able to speak directly with the teacher more often on a one-on-one basis.
Faster Response To Questions
When you’re in a large class, it can be intimidating to raise your hand to ask a question for fear of looking foolish. But asking questions is an important part of the learning process and can show active engagement with learning objectives. At CHA, asking questions is considered an important part of the learning experience and teachers encourage students to ask questions. With a small class size there is time to fully ensure each student can ask questions and understand assignments and concepts.
Increase Socialization Opportunities
Connecting with other classmates is an important part of the educational process. Learning to respect and connect with peers from varying cultures and countries is an important skill for global learners. Small classes create an environment where children are more likely to connect with one another, leading to possible lifelong friendships. As students become more comfortable with each other, they are more willing to take risks in sharing ideas and perspectives and in pushing their learning. They are more likely to work together in a positive cooperative spirit.
More Teacher Attention
Effective teaching requires a good deal of time for a variety of instructional strategies, feedback, and more instruction. Each individual student learns in their own way and in their own time. Smaller class sizes give teachers the opportunity to work one-on-one with students or with smaller groups of two to four students to observe performance, re-teach a concept and provide effective feedback as needed to insure the educational objectives are met. Teachers can also have a better chance of providing enrichment materials, pushing those students forward as they master the concepts to reach their highest potential.
Better Learning and Performance
Studies from across the country confirm that small class sizes result in students who perform better in every measurable way – from test scores and grades to attendance and behavior. Not only do students learn more in small classes, they also learn faster. And this means the class progresses through the course material more quickly. Their learning is enhanced by the confidence students develop to share their opinions and ask and answer questions, which also benefits their peers.
Find Your Place in a CHA Small Class
At CHA, we believe in these benefits of small class sizes as part of our mission to educate the whole child by teaching core subjects in context with giving your child a sense of how he or she fits into the world. We are committed to maintaining this strategy for all of our CHA students. If you’re ready for your child to reap the benefits of small class size, contact CHA today at (818) 998-4037 or complete our online inquiry form. We hare happy to explain our entire academic philosophy and the high standards we set for our CHA graduates.