Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Charles Achilles & Jane Boyd-Zaharias & Christopher Tienken
Class size has been studied in the United States since about 1900, yet it was still in limbo by 2008. An early econometric study tied small classes to improved student outcomes. Fredrick Mosteller, Richard J. Light, and Jason A. Sachs's study discussed only two topics as sustained inquiry in education: skill grouping and class size. They sought empirical evidence about education outcomes from heterogeneous or skill-grouped classes and about the impact of class size on student learning. The authors found a few well-designed studies on benefits of skill grouping, and results were equivocal. They then described the Student Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) randomized, large-scale class-size experiment (1984–1990) that demonstrates convincingly that student achievement is better supported in smaller classes in Grades K–3, and that this enhanced achievement continues when the students move to regular-size classes in the fourth grade and beyond. Mosteller and colleagues' finding is mysterious juxtaposed with a ...