School class sizes in different countries

Aliska - posted on 08/11/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I just had a couple of 13 yr old American boys staying with us for a couple of days. They are from California. I was shocked when they said that they are in classes of up to 40 kids in school and thought that classes could get up to 50 kids! In the public sector in Australia classes are kept to around 26 kids and parents are up in arms (rightly I think) when they get to 30. What size classes are normal for schools in your area and what would you like them to be? I think 26 can be too many at times and would love class sizes of 15 to 20.

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Jennifer, I'm not sure that has as much to do with class size as the fact that there is just not enough funding to hire more teachers and build bigger schools with more classrooms. The large district south of me cut 80 teaching positions last year and has a hiring freeze, because they cannot afford more teachers. Getting rid of 80 teachers means the remaining teachers take on more students.

The district I taught in wanted to hire more teachers (great district) but there was simply no space. The teacher's lounge, 2 teacher workrooms and music room were all converted into classrooms to accommodate the district's growing population. The next school year they started construction on 12 new classrooms and hired new teachers at just my school (similar changes happened at the other schools). But they had the money. The other district did not.

Lindsay - posted on 08/12/2010

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My daughter started Kindergarten yesterday is she has 19 kids in her class. They also have a teacher's aide in the room. When I was in school, from K-12, I never had a class with more than 25 students in it. Oh and I'm in Kentucky, USA.

Jenni - posted on 08/12/2010

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Well you have to think of the size and population of america compared to the population density of australia. I'm from canada which is roughtly the same PD as australia and our class sizes are between 20-30 kids. So i believe it has to do with that. the states is smaller than canada in area but has 250 million people to our 30 million people.

Amanda - posted on 08/12/2010

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Last year my sons class was 30 students (a lot of parents were very upset), my daugthers class in the same school was only 18 students.

Jodi - posted on 08/12/2010

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My kids are in Catholic school in Australia (one is in Kindy and the other in Year 7) and they have class sizes averaging 20-25. I pre-school they had the same number, but they had a teacher's aide (and that was public pre-school).

Louise - posted on 08/12/2010

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In England primary school classes can be as big as 34. High school tends to be around the 30 mark. Saying that when you go onto the upper school and study A levels you have some really small classes. My son has just finished school after doing his A levels for two years and he studied French 5 in class. German 3 in class, Maths 26 in class and further Maths 3 in class. So the classes are really small when one to one tuition is needed.

Krista - posted on 08/11/2010

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That's awful, Jennifer!

Around here, class sizes are usually around the 25-30 range in high school. In elementary school, the classes are smaller, but that's because there are more elementary schools than there are high schools. I have no idea of the exact numbers, unfortunately.

Jennifer - posted on 08/11/2010

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i am in Wisconsin, US and in my high school pretty much all my classes had at least 35 kids...there weren't even enough desks...some kids had to sit in the window sills, and there were never enough books. teachers had to make copies of the books so that everyone had the material, and the teachers had to pay for this out of their own pockets.

Caitlin - posted on 08/11/2010

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25-30 is pretty normal here in high school, most of my university classes are about 80 students... (quebec, canada)

Shelley - posted on 08/11/2010

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Having worked as a teachers aid i can't imagine 40or 50 in a class. Some teachers can't cope with 26 particularily in prep. I think 15 sounds great but who's going to pay for it?

[deleted account]

I was a teacher in the southern United States and my class size never got above 25. But I taught upper elementary (4th grade). In middle and high school class sizes can get very large. In college I was in a 1,000 person class. Nice huh?

I like the idea of only having 15 kids in a class. That would be teacher heaven! Managing a classroom would be so much easier and teachers could do so much more with the students. One on one teaching, class projects, etc. I taught writing (believe it or not, I know my grammar is NOT the best!). Each time we wrote a paper, I wanted to meet with each of the students and discuss specific ways to improve and point out what they did well. I was able to do that some, but a lot of times I resorted to meeting with the students in small groups and discussing similar issues I found in that group of students' papers. NOT as effective. But the reality was there was just not enough hours in the school day to meet individually with student.

LaCi - posted on 08/11/2010

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I went to a small school, we had roughly 15 kids per class. It was fantastic.

Johnny - posted on 08/11/2010

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It's pretty much the same where I live in Canada. Class sizes are 25-30 (I'm not exactly sure of the current upper limit, but I think 30 for grade school). If it was ever to get over that number, parents would freak out here. When I was in high school, classes were usually 25 and under, depending on the course.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 08/11/2010

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I feel the smaller the better, but class ranges from 25-30 kids where im from..Seattle, Wa...and most of the time kids can;t learn as well when class sizes are so large...

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