EFFECT OF CLASS SIZE TO THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS (Case Study Of Enugu North Lga Of Enugu State)
1.1 Background of the Study
There is still little consensus on whether and how teaching is affected by small and large classes, especially in the case of students in the later primary years. Individual attention in smaller classes, were a more active role for students, and beneficial effects on the quality of teaching. It is suggested that teachers in both large and small classes need to develop strategies for more individual attention but also recognize the benefits of other forms of learning , for example, the group work. We need, therefore, accounts of ways in which classroom processes are altered as a result of class size differences, and in this paper, we examine the connections between class size and teaching. Logically, it seems likely that the number of children in a class will increase the amount of time that teachers spend in procedural matters and, conversely, decrease the amount f time that can be spent on instruction and dealing with individual children. There was consistent evidence that in small classes children were more likely to interact with their teachers, the more one-on-one teaching takes place, children were more often the focus of a teacher’s attention, teaching takes place and teachers more often attended to the children. The trend towards individualization in small classes did not seem to be indicative of a passive role for children, the opposite seemed more likely, that is, children in large classes spend less time actively interacting with the teacher in terms of responding or initiating. These components suggested that class size affected the amount of individual attention, the immediacy and responsiveness of teachers to children, the sustained and purposeful nature of interaction between teachers, knowledge of children in their classes, and sensitivity to individual children’s particular needs. Nigeria Educational Research Council (NERC) published a review of 41 studies of the effects of class, concluding that reducing class size alone would not increase student achievement. In classes of 25-34 pupils at the primary level, the studies show some support for the hypothesis the smaller classes are related to higher achievement reading and mathematics, particularly if the pupils are socially or economically disadvantaged or remain in small classes for at least two year (NERC, 2006). The National Policy on Education (Revised 2004) states that mathematics is one of the core curriculum which every students must take in addition to his/her specialties. Continuing, the policy stated that those core subjects are basic subjects which will enable a student to offer arts or science in Higher Education. The implication of the compulsory nature of the subjects demands much especially from the teacher. Inspite of the importance of Mathematics, there is a general low-level of student performance in Mathematics in examination, therefore the class-size has been identified as the cause of this low performance. As class size increase, achievement decreases students who would score at about the 63 percentile on a math test when taught individually, would score at about 37th percentile (when taught) in a class of 40 students. A follow-up study by the Educational Research Development Council using meta-analysis was published in 2000. Non-achievement effects on class size such as effects on students, effect on teachers, and effects on the instructional environment and processes ever investigated.