Smaller class sizes are directly related to higher student achievements. Canadian leaders recognize this and the provincial governments of British Columbia and Ontario have recently implemented plans to cap public elementary school class numbers. The benefits of keeping class numbers low are indisputable for students of all ages, yet public high schools in the Greater Toronto Area contain classes with large numbers of students. Toronto independent high schools, on the other hand, have historically kept classes small. They know that learning flourishes in settings where students and teachers have enough time and space to do their work.
Problems With Numbers
In large classes, noise and disruptions multiply. Teachers may find themselves devoting a great deal of time and energy to maintaining order. As well, the larger the class, the more likely there are to be wide gaps between students' abilities to learn. In large groups, there may not be an opportunity to work one-on-one with students and teachers often have to address them in a way that doesn't take levels of understanding into consideration. Conversely, there may be so many students who need extra help that the teacher's time is spent working with individuals while the majority of the class gets short-changed.
Advantages of Small Classes
In a smaller class, the teacher can use more effective teaching techniques. Open-ended discussions, for example, are far more productive in a small-group setting. Complex projects can be assigned, as the teacher will have time to help students on an individual basis. With fewer students, a teacher can assign more writing projects and provide more in-depth feedback. Small class sizes also allow teachers to recognize learning difficulties early on and address them more easily. Special programs can be created and implemented efficiently, which would be near to impossible in a large class setting. Studies have proven that a teacher can cover far more material in a class with fewer students.
One of the major advantages of fewer students per class is that the teacher forms closer relationships with his or her students. This enables the teacher to identify each student's strengths and weaknesses so that the curriculum material can be geared towards maximizing individual learning. The teacher is able to ensure that each student understands the class work and any homework assignments. This personal attention can give students the confidence and ability for great achievements.
A second concern is the student-to-faculty ratio. Many think this phrase refers to smaller class sizes, but in fact this number reflects the total number of students in the school in relation to the total number of faculty, including librarians, guidance counselors and other school resource personnel. Top Toronto independent high schools work towards lowering both class sizes and student-to-faculty ratios to ensure that all students receive the attention they require from school staff.
With evidence mounting that small class sizes and low student-to-faculty ratios improve student academic achievement, it's clear that parents should investigate Toronto independent schools. Education is the key to a child's future success and independent schools are in the forefront of educational innovation.