Advertisement

An Almost Invisible ‘Difficult Circumstance’: The Large Class

  • Hywel Coleman
Chapter
Part of the International Perspectives on English Language Teaching book series (INPELT)

Abstract

In many contexts, ‘large classes’ are associated with emotional stress, physical exhaustion and professional frustration, yet teachers are often left to fend for themselves in addressing class size issues. Education policymakers and managers, because of the widespread use of the teacher:pupil ratio (TPR), do not appreciate the class size reality that many teachers and learners experience. Case studies in two Asian and six African countries show that official TPRs are often very different from the actual class sizes which teachers experience. It is not an exaggeration to say that official statistics obscure—or make invisible—the true class size conditions that teachers have to face.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to the editors of this book and to Dr. Dwi Winanto Hadi of the Centre for Education Data and Statistics in the Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia, for their comments on an earlier draft of this chapter. I am also grateful to Godefroy Gaméné and Arnauld Aguidissou for permission to use the photographs from Burkina Faso and Benin, respectively.

References

  1. Blatchford, P. (2012). Three generations of research on class size effects. In K. R. Harris, S. Graham, & T. Urdan (Eds.), APA educational psychology handbook: Volume 2: Individual differences and cultural and contextual factors (pp. 529–554). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.  https://doi.org/10.1037/13274-021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Coleman, H. (1989). Large classes in Nigeria (Project report 6). Lancaster/Leeds: Lancaster-Leeds Language Learning in Large Classes Research Project.Google Scholar
  3. Coleman, H. (1991). Primary ELT teachers and large classes. In C. Kennedy & J. Jarvis (Eds.), Ideas and issues in primary ELT (pp. 152–163). Walton-on-Thames: Nelson.Google Scholar
  4. Coleman, H. (1995). Appropriate methodology in large classes. In R. Budd (Ed.), Appropriate methodology: From classroom methods to classroom processes (pp. 113–126). Paris: TESOL France.Google Scholar
  5. Coleman, H. (2013). Proposal to introduce the teaching of English in the primary schools of Gabon: Analysis and recommendations. London: British Council.Google Scholar
  6. Coleman, H., Effentrif, & Udaya, M. I. (2008). Analysis of three consecutive annual school profiles and financial utilisation reports from 3111 DBEP schools (Unpublished report). Jakarta: Decentralised Basic Education Project, Ministry of National Education.Google Scholar
  7. Coleman, H., Aguidissou, A., Bâ, A., Cissé, T., Diouf, D., Djigo, A. M., Djittèye, M., Gaméné, G. M. J., Kanga, N., Khattar, M., Kodjahon, A., Ngom, T., Sylla, I., Toto, K., & Zouré, C. P. (2013). The English language in Francophone West Africa. Dakar: British Council Senegal. http://englishagenda.britishcouncil.org/books-resource-packs/english-language-francophone-west-africa. Accessed 31 Jan 2016.
  8. Deaton, A., & Kozel, V. (2005). Data and dogma: The great Indian poverty debate. The World Bank Research Observer, 20(2), 177–199. http://elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/abs/10.1093/wbro/lki009. Accessed 31 Jan 2016.
  9. Department for Education. (2011). Pupil absence in schools in England, Autumn term 2010 and Spring term 2011 (Statistical first release). London: Department for Education. www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s001030/sfr25-2011.pdf. Accessed 31 Jan 2016.
  10. Glass, G. V., Cahen, L. S., Smith, M. L., & Filby, N. N. (1982). School class size: Research and policy. Beverly Hills/London/New Delhi: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  11. Hashim, N. H. (1997). Teachers’ responses to class size and educational media at the primary level in Malaysia. Unpublished doctoral thesis, School of Education, University of Leeds.Google Scholar
  12. Kouassi, J. (1996). Effectifs pléthoriques et acquisition de l’anglais: Choix du matériel et des activités d’apprentissage. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Départemen d’Anglais, Université Nationale de Côte-d’Ivoire.Google Scholar
  13. OFSTED. (1995). Class size and the quality of education (OFSTED report for academic years 1993/94 and 1994/95). London: Office for Standards in Education.Google Scholar
  14. Shamim, F. (1993). Teacher-learner behaviour and classroom processes in large ESL classes in Pakistan. Unpublished doctoral thesis, School of Education, University of Leeds. http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/495/1/uk_bl_ethos_397452_pdf.pdf. Accessed 31 Jan 2016.
  15. Shamim, F., & Coleman, H. (2018). Large-sized classes. In J. I. Liontas (Ed.), The TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  16. UIS (UNESCO Institute for Statistics). (2009). Projecting the global demand for teachers: Meeting the goal of universal primary education by 2015 (Technical paper no 3). Montreal: UNESCO Institute for Statistics. http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/tp3-projecting-global-demand-teachers-2009-en.pdf. Accessed 31 Jan 2016.
  17. UIS (UNESCO Institute for Statistics). (2015a). UIS glossary of statistical terms. Montreal: UNESCO Institute for Statistics. http://glossary.uis.unesco.org/glossary/en/home. Accessed 31 Jan 2016.
  18. UIS (UNESCO Institute for Statistics). (2015b). UNESCO eAtlas of teachers. Montreal: UNESCO Institute for Statistics. www.tellmaps.com/uis/teachers/. Accessed 31 Jan 2016.
  19. UIS (UNESCO Institute for Statistics). (2016). Education: Pupil-teacher ratio in lower secondary education. Montreal: UNESCO Institute for Statistics. http://data.uis.unesco.org/. Accessed 2 Feb 2016.
  20. World Bank. (2004). Education in Indonesia: Managing the transition to decentralisation (Education sector review, Document 29506, 3 volumes). Washington, DC: World Bank. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EDUCATION/Resources/278200-1099079877269/547664-1099080026826/Edu_Indonesia.pdf. Accessed 31 Jan 2016.
  21. World Bank. (2007). Project Information Document (PID) appraisal stage report no.: AB3015. Project name: BERMUTU-Better Education through Reformed Management and Universal Teacher Upgrading. Jakarta: World Bank.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hywel Coleman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsLeedsUK

Personalised recommendations