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Does Class Size Matter?

YES, because class size directly affects the learner’s ability to learn.

Education is no longer a mass-manufacture of content-based age organised teaching, it is (and should be) a personal and individually based learning experience and opportunity for growth. 

I have seen teaching and learning change considerably over the last few decades, and my class size is a reflection of this shift from teacher-centered classrooms to learner-centered learning. The demands of modern teaching and learning mean that large classes are no longer acceptable to learners or educators.  Modern learning has placed more demands on the practice of individual instruction, coaching, mentoring, and tutoring and small case sizes are necessary to meet these demands.


"I need a class size that gives me time to get to know my learners, their demands, their needs, and adjust my delivery and content accordingly, and ensure that the time that they spend with me is effective learning."


In general learners’ expectations are higher than ever for one reason or another, and for those expectations to be met effectively a small class size is a must. Small classes result in individualised learning, whereas in larger classes there is insufficient time to give individual learner attention. With large classes, I physically do not have time to work with learners one on one enough.

"Statistically, significant evidence is found that small class size has a positive impact on student performance."

(Walker and Arias, 2004)


As an educator, I know the effects of reducing class size can be both long-term and far-reaching and the research supports that view.


"Teachers in small classes pay greater attention to each pupil. Students in these classes experience continuing pressure to participate in learning activities and become better, more involved students. Attention to learning goes up, and disruptive and off-task behaviour goes down". 

(American Educational Research Association, Zurawsky, 2003)


I know my learners have a better learning environment when they are in small classes and do not have to compete with other learners for my help and attention. I know the learning is more engaging and individual and personalised learning, resulting in much better learning outcomes. Smaller classes support learning by offering:


more opportunities to cater to diversity and difference

greater engagement in learning

better monitoring of learner progress

earlier diagnosis of learner difficulty

more inclusive and personal

higher levels of learning safety

more immediate rewards for achievement

learners more likely to be ‘on-task

learning results improve

more opportunity for learner interaction

learners more positive about themselves and their ability to learn


Based on research, at Software Solutions, my class sizes are small, to ensure that as an educator I get the greatest opportunity to know and to teach my learners as individuals and for them to have the greatest opportunity to achieve their potential and love learning, and become lifelong learners. 



The Power of Small Class Sizes: A Recipe for Effective Learning

Discover the secret sauce to optimal learning—keeping class sizes small. In this blog, we'll explore why a limited number of participants in a class can significantly enhance the educational experience for everyone involved.


  1. Individualised Attention: In smaller classes, each student receives more individualized attention from the teacher. This personalized approach allows educators to understand and cater to the unique needs of each learner, fostering a supportive and conducive learning environment.

  2. Increased Student Engagement: Smaller class sizes promote higher levels of student engagement. With fewer distractions and a more intimate setting, students are more likely to actively participate in discussions, ask questions, and collaborate with their peers.

  3. Effective Communication: Clear and effective communication is key to learning. In smaller classes, students and teachers can communicate more openly, creating a comfortable space for asking questions, seeking clarification, and building stronger teacher-student relationships.

  4. Tailored Learning Pace: Every student learns at their own pace. Smaller class sizes allow for a more flexible teaching approach, enabling educators to adapt to the varied learning speeds of individual students. This ensures that no one is left behind or feels rushed.

  5. Personalised Feedback: Regular and personalized feedback is essential for academic growth. In smaller classes, teachers can provide more detailed and constructive feedback, guiding students on their strengths and areas for improvement, and fostering a continuous learning cycle.

  6. Stronger Classroom Community: A smaller class size contributes to a sense of community among students. This creates a supportive and collaborative atmosphere, where students feel more comfortable expressing their thoughts and opinions, leading to a richer learning experience.

The evidence is clear: smaller class sizes are a game-changer in education. From personalised attention to increased engagement, the benefits extend beyond the classroom walls. As we advocate for effective learning environments, let's champion the cause of keeping class sizes small—a simple yet powerful strategy for nurturing the academic success and growth of each student.

For this reason, Software Solutions class sizes are a maximum of 4-5 and typically 2-3 attendees.

Cathi Barker

Microsoft Master Instructor

Microsoft Innovative Educator

Educator in the private and public sector for nearly 40 years

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