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Re:[teacherartexchange] class size


From: Jerry Vilenski (jvilenski_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Mar 19 2007 - 09:12:02 PDT

While it may be true that there is data supporting
both sides of the class size issue, I think it is fair
to say that data has little to do with the
circumstances some teachers out there face daily in
art classrooms. Issues such as room size, materials
budgets, tool safety, and most importantly, class
demographics have a huge impact on a teacher's ability
to deliver the curriculum in a safe and logical
fashion. It doesn't take a statistician to tell you
that a class of 33 kids with a third of them special
needs students would be more difficult to work with
than a class of 23 high achieving students.

The other day I had a class of Kindergartners that had
7 students absent due to illness. Those who were in
attendance were more difficult management problems
than the 23 Kindergartners I encountered that morning!
 So the make up of a class does, in my opinion, impact
how I teach and what I teach.

I feel sorry for those secondary and elementary
teachers who find themselves in districts that allow
huge class sizes for whatever reason. It has a
tendency to breed mediocrity into programs, especially
art studio classes where one-on-one contact is so
important. My advice: get an art teacher on your
negotiating team!

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