The head of the OECD PISA surveys, Andreas Schleicher, has been called the most powerful man in education. On the BBC website this month he described 7 big myths about top-performing school systems. Myth number 4 in Schleicher’s list is that small classes raise standards. He argues that “everywhere, teachers, parents and policy makers favour small classes as the key to better and more personalised education.” In contrast, he argues, high performing education systems invest in better teachers and high performing countries (many in East Asia) have large classes – so the size of a school class can’t be important.
Far from being a myth, however, my sense is that the view that class size is unimportant is in fact becoming more and more accepted by many
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