I'd like to start an offshoot of this discussion. Mike, commenting on Dan Hart's situation (Los Angeles city school), noted a possible lack of admistrative support.
Most of the teachers I know in California have an average class size of about 36. This includes an elementary school teacher I worked with several years ago whose class included 26 6th graders and 10 5th graders. (So she had to juggle separate social studies curricula, for example). Some high school teachers I know have had classes as big as 50, because the average class size for the school was kept low (!) by small specialized classes in other categories.
On my trip from California to Minnesota recently, I visited the 2nd grade classroom of Cindy Chapman in Albuquerque (a faithful contributor to this list). There were about 18 kids. I directed a math activity (discrete math; details available on request) which I thought worked well. Part of the reason is that Cindy is an excellent, experienced teacher, and her class this year is especially bright and cooperative, but I suspect that a big part of the reason is that the class is a manageable size.
I'd like to hear comments on the relation between class size and mathematical learning (if any) and teacher burnout. (And are my California class size observations accurate?)
Susan Addington Academic year 1995-6: The rest of the time: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com The Geometry Center Math Department 1300 South 2nd St., Suite 500 California State University Minneapolis, MN 55454 San Bernardino, CA 92407 (612) 624-5058 (909) 880-5362 fax: (612) 626-7131 fax: (909) 880-7119 WWW: http://www.math.csusb.edu/susan/
On Mon, 9 Oct 1995, michael goldenberg wrote:
> Teaching from such a perspective requires both courage and a great deal of > administrative support. I would guess from many of your posts that you > don't have a lot of the latter. I would further speculate that some of your > pedagogic cynicism, pessimism, and conservativism (or at least what I > perceive as being so) stems from a sense of the potential for you to wind > up drowning in a situation that seems hopeless unless ruled with a fairly > iron hand.