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Does small class size matter?

More and more evidence suggests that this is not the factor our schools need to be focused on.  What about quality teachers? I just started reading Malcom Gladwell’s David and Goliath and I would suggest that every educator and every parent read at least chapter 2, if not the whole book.

Here is a quote:

“My perfect number is eighteen: that’s enough bodies in the room that no one person needs to feel vulnerable, but everyone can feel important. Eighteen divides handily into groups of two or three or six— all varying degrees of intimacy in and of themselves. With eighteen students, I can always get to each one of them when I need to. Twenty-four is my second favorite number— the extra six bodies make it even more likely that there will be a dissident among them, a rebel or two to challenge the status quo. But the trade-off with twenty-four is that it verges on having the energetic mass of an audience instead of a team. Add six more of them to hit thirty bodies and we’ve weakened the energetic connections so far that even the most charismatic of teachers can’t maintain the magic all the time.”

Gladwell, Malcolm (2013-10-01). David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (Kindle Locations 558-564). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

As I was looking for a good quote, I wanted to cut and paste the entire chapter, but of course I could not do that! If you are a Twitter person you can follow Gladwell @Gladwell and/or follow a discussion about the book using the hashtag #davidandgoliath.

Happy Reading!

Marc Levinson
Executive Director, MISBO
Twitter: @marcll    @MISBOconnects

From → Great Reads

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