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June 11, 2004

Team Teaching May Not Be the Way to Go

A study has shown that having smaller class sizes is more effective than doubling up on teachers, as in English team teaching. The study, by the National Institute for Educational Policy Research, tested students on their understanding of "comparisons" after the topic was taught the same way to several classes in different configurations. The best scores were recorded by students put into classes divided by academic ability. These classes also out-scored team teaching classes in terms of student interest, involvement and desire to learn. The study was carried out between September of last year and March, and involved almost 4,000 eighth graders at 104 schools nationwide. There were seven different class configurations such as: one teacher with a class of 40, 30 or 20 students; team teaching with 30-40 students in a class; classes of 15-20 students grouped by ability and taught by one teacher. The education ministry is encouraging smaller class sizes for English lessons, a policy being implemented at 28.7% of junior high schools, as compared to 54.8% in the case of math lessons.
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