There are a lot of factors that determine how much any student will get from his/her education. One factor that hardly anyone dispute anymore is the student to teacher ratio or class size. Generally speaking, classes with small a number of students and a larger percentage of teachers are better learning environments. Because of this fact, many states have enacted legislation mandating a maximum student-teacher ratio.
What is Student-Teacher Ratio?
The student teacher ratio expresses the relationship between the number of students enrolled in a school and the number of full-time teachers employed by that institution. For example a 30:1 student teacher ratio would mean that an institution has 30 students per teacher. This kind of situation would make it difficult for teachers to give all the students their undivided attention. Thus, schools with high student-teacher ratios are usually judged to provide students with a poor educational experience. But, how does a low student-to-faculty ratio impact a student’s educational experience? Let’s explore 4 reasons how this impacts student learning.
• No student is left behind: In smaller classes it is more difficult for students who are not excelling at a certain rate to get left behind. Fewer students mean that all students will receive the attention they deserve since the teacher is not forced to divide his/her time among many pupils.
• Greater student involvement: In academic settings with smaller classes students become more involved with discussions and have more opportunities to ask questions, give their opinions, etc. This kind of participation can benefit a student’s leaning experience and make his time spent in class rewarding and even fun.
• Professor availability: Low student-to-faculty ratios mean that students will be better able to schedule meetings with teachers should it become necessary. It also means that a teacher’s workload will be smaller than if he/she taught an unmanageable number of students. Thus, teachers and students are better able to build a rapport that benefits both.
• Classes become a community: When there are few students per class individual students can connect with each other better. This encourages interaction with others and helps to create friendship, respect for others and enhanced learning opportunities.
For all these reasons and many more, ACA features one of the lowest student-to-staff ratios of any pre-college program. Our Florence Italy program features an 8:1 student-to-staff ratio. We subscribe to the tons of data that show that lower student-to-staff ratios are helpful to a pupil’s education and that large, unmanageable class sizes are an anathema to learning. Our summer programs give students a chance to get a leg upon on their peers who are also headed off to college.