Small class sizes for improving student achievement in primary and secondary schools: a systematic review

This Campbell systematic review examines the impact of class size on academic achievement. The review summarises findings from 148 reports from 41 countries. Ten studies were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, the evidence suggests at best a small effect on reading achievement. There is a negative, but statistically insignificant, effect on mathematics. For the non-STAR studies the primary study effect sizes for reading were close to zero but the weighted average was positive and statistically significant. There was some inconsistency in the direction of the primary study effect sizes for mathematics and the weighted average effect was negative and statistically non-significant. The STAR results are more positive, but do not change the overall finding. All reported results from the studies analysing STAR data indicated a positive effect of smaller class sizes for both reading and maths, but the average effects are small.

author
Filges, Trine
Sonne-Schmidt, Christoffer Scavenius
Nielsen, Bjørn Christian Viinholt
series
A Campbell Systematic Review
language
ENG
Series volume
14
date
2018
Pages
107 p.
regions
Europe
Americas and the Caribbean
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themes
School size, class size
Pays
UK
USA
Netherlands
France
levels
Secondary education
Primary education

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