"The cost of keeping classes small had to be weighed against the long-term cost to the community of less-effective education, Zyngier said."
Melbourne, May 3 - Before seeking admission for your toddler, check how big the class is because small classes - especially in the first four years of school - can have a lasting impact on his/her achievement.

Smaller classes in the early years can lift a child's academic performance right through to Year 12 and even into tertiary study and employment, said study's lead author David Zyngier from Monash University in Australia.

It is also beneficial to have smaller numbers for specialist classes in fields such as numeracy and literacy, Zyngier added.

The research involved review of a wide range of studies from Australia and other similar education systems including non-English speaking countries of Europe, as well as England, Canada and New Zealand.

Besides looking at how class size affected academic results, the study also took into account other variables such as teaching methods.

The study has implications for policymakers who who decide on the cost of keeping classes small.

The cost of keeping classes small had to be weighed against the long-term cost to the community of less-effective education, Zyngier said.

The study appeared in Evidence Base, the Journal of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.


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