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Less Teaching=More Learning

by on February 21, 2012

Teaching is not just about what goes on in the classroom. Popular belief states that smaller classes create better results. As The Economist has however pointed out, scientific research does not support this popular belief (Classroom Crush). Larger classrooms with better prepared teachers gets better results than small classrooms with teachers having less time to prepare. Spending more money or forcing more hours on pupils and their teachers does not significantly help. Better teachers more than anything determines the outcome. Better teaching = Better results.

This is why the Dutch government in particular, and plenty of other goverments in developed countries, should stop pushing for more and more teaching hours by teachers in front of smaller and smaller classes. The teachers in the Netherlands were right to strike on 26 January 2012. If only teachers spent less time in the classroom and more time preparing for teaching, the results would get better, according to the latest research.  As we have already argued before in, “School Rankings” in the Graduate Times, schools should be completely free to do as they please as long as they get the right outcomes. There is no way a national body knows the best way to teach every pupil at every school. A government paying by  the pupil and by results through a ranking system would be  one (of many) ways to give schools an incentive to find the best teaching method.

Just to be clear. We are not arguing for the state to get more teachers in, or to legislate for particular formulas. No – we want schools to make their own mind up. If they think teaching less = more, or that money otherwise spent on a fancy smartboard could better be spent on higher wages (for better teachers), they should get the freedom to progress in this way. We need an incentive for those that do well. As long as the outcome is an well educated population, nobody should or will complain.

From → Extended Society

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