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Three Dozen's a Crowd

Jack Campbell and Margaret Robinson

One of the most striking characteristics of classrooms since the Industrial Revolution to the present has been ~he large number of pupils within them. At no other 'stage in their lives will young people occupy such socially intimate settings for such extended periods of time. Buses, football pavilions, and cinemas may be more crowded than classrooms, but people rarely stay in them for long, and, perhaps more important, they do not have to meet the demands of individual and social learning within them.
Largely as a result of the studies by Glass and his associates, it is now fairly well accepted that large class size has a harmful effect upon the learning of school children, and it might be argued that the battle for smaller classes has been won. However, before this finding is translated into policies aimed at reducing class size, it is probably neccesary to identify the sequence of events which lies between the physical size of a school class and the achievement of pupils within it.

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