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Related Studies
Many studies have been made in the international arena regarding the gender
difference on academic achievement among students. Some of them are stated below.
Linver,6 Miriam R., Davis-Kean, Pamela E., & Eccles, Jacquelynne S. (April, 2002) in
the study “Influences of gender on academic achievement” found that overall, young
women have slightly higher grades than young men. For both young men and women in
the honors/college track group, math grades started out fairly high and then decline
throughout high school, ending up at about A, B- or C+. The result of the study also
suggested that for boys and girls, math grade fall over the course of junior high and high
school. Young women achieved at comparable or higher levels in math as males, but their
interest especially for the high achieving females, were the same or lower than males.
The results also suggested that for young male in higher level math tracks, math interest
was much more strongly related to math school grades than for young women in the
same math courses. Indeed, interest in math courses or math related activities remain
flat across the junior high and high school years for women who were in the higher level
math courses. The study suggested that in order to encourage more women in math,
science and information technology fields, interventions need to be designed that focus
not on the academic performance of women but on how to make math and science
related occupations more interesting for 47 young high achieving women. This type of
intervention should start early in the academic careers for these adolescents and young
Ajiboye, 13 J. O., & Tella, Adeyinka (2006) in the study “Class attendance and gender
effects on under graduate students” found that although the difference in the mean
scores of male and female students serve marginal, however their difference was found
to be statistically significant at 5% level of significance. It indicated a significant gender
effect in social studies academic performance. It also observed that male students
performed better than the female counterparts. It was further reported that students’
gender has effect on performance in social studies. Being verbal based subject social
studies predisposes gender interest. It was however striking to note that males rather
than females preformed better in the course. The major explanation for this was that
looking closely at the attendance rates; male students have better attendance records
than their female counterparts in this course, hence, their show of better performance.
Momanyi,35 J., Ogoma, S. O., & Misigo, B. L. (2010) in a study “Gender differences
in self-efficacy and achievement performance in science subjects among secondary
school students in Lugari district, Kenya” found no significant difference between boys
and girls in self efficacy. However, they found significant difference between boys and
girls in academic performance in the sciences. The study also found significant
relationship between students’ self efficacy and academic performance in the science
subjects. The study recommended that strategies should be put in place by the educators
to boost self efficacy of students to enable them approach tasks with confidence.
Zembar, 36 M. J., & Blume, L. B. (Dec, 2011) in the topic “Gender and academic
achievement” argued that most studies show that, on average, girls do better in school
than boys. Girls get higher grades and complete high school at a higher rate compared
to boys. Standardized achievement tests also show that females are better at spelling
and perform better on tests of literacy, writing and general knowledge. An international
aptitude test administered to fourth graders in 35 countries, for example, 61 showed that
females outscored males on reading literacy in every country. Though there were no
differences between boys and girls in fourth grade in mathematics, boys began to perform
better than girls on science tests in fourth grade. Girls continue to exhibit higher verbal
ability throughout high school, but they begin to lose ground to boys after fourth grades
on tests of both mathematical and science ability. These gender differences in math and
science achievement have implications for girls’ future careers and have been a source
of concern for educators everywhere.
In an investigation on the shortage of women in science, arts, engineering and
technical fields, the explanation can be traced back to gender differences in the cognitive
abilities at middle school students. In late elementary school, females outperformed
males on several verbal skills tasks: verbal reasoning, verbal fluency, comprehension and
understanding logical relations. Males on the other hand, outperformed females on spatial
skills tasks such as mental rotation, spatial perception and spatial visualization. Males also
performed better on mathematical skills. Males and females did equally well in basic math
knowledge, and girls actually have better computational skills. Performance in
mathematical reasoning and geometry showed the greatest gender difference
Raheem,38 B. O. Abdu. (2012) in a study “Gender differences and students’ academic
achievement and retention in social studies among junior secondary schools in Ekiti state”
Nigeria found no significant difference achievement mean scores and retention mean
score between male and female students in the experimental and control groups. The
study concluded by saying that gender has no significant role to play on students’
achievement and retention in social studies. The study recommended that female
students should be more encouraged by parents, teachers 63 and the society in order to
develop their untapped intellectual resources and erase the old gender stereotype against
6 Linver, Miriam R., Davis-Kean, P. E., & Jacquelynne S. Eccles. (April, 2002).
Influences of gender on academic achievement.
Ajiboye, J. O., & Tella, Adeyinka. (2006). Class attendance and gender effects on
undergraduate students. www.usca.edu/essays/vol.18/2006 date. 16/12/11
Momanyi, J., Ogoma, S. O., & Misigo, B. L. (2010). Gender differences in selfefficacy
and achievement performance in science subjects among secondary school students in
Lugari district, Kenya. Educational Journal and Behavioural Science, 1(1), pp. 62-77
Zembar, M. J., & Blume, L. B. (Dec, 2011). Gender and academic achievement. Middle
Childhood Development: A Contextual approach. Pearson. pp.212-215
Raheem, B. O. Abdu. (2012). Gender differences and students’ academic achievement
and retention in social studies among junior secondary schools in Ekiti state. European
Journal of Educational Studies, 4(1), pp. 155-161

Related Literature
Achievement test results conducted by Onekutu (2002) has shown that boys and girls
in the early ages perform equally in all subjects including English language, and as they
grow to higher classes, the girls begin to get more interested in language Arts, while the
boys take more to sciences and Social Sciences. This has resulted to a situation where
there are more boys than girls offering Social Sciences. However, the issue of gender and
students’ academic achievement has remained a controversial one. While some propose
that, males perform better than females in academics, others argue that, the reverse is
the case. Veinon (2002) reported that, many comparisons show average scores of boys
and girls to be the same on general intelligence test. He said that, girls do a little better
on most verbal tests and on tests involving rote memory than boys. On tests of inductive
reasoning and arithmetical ability, though with a great deal of overlapping, the average
differences, he said, seldom exceeds about four points of intelligence quotient. He added
that, the most marked difference occurs on spatial and mechanical tests, and wonders if
such ability might be attributed to the cultural influences on our civilization, which
encourages boys to develop physical, constructional and mechanical interests. He
concluded that, many surveys demonstrate that the range or spread of ability is slightly
more restricted in girls.
Gessell (2004) asserted that girls under the age of fourteen years usually perform
better in English language than boys of the same age. In addition, after that age, the
boys usually overtake the girls. The initial higher achievement by girls than boys,
according to Okoye (2009) was as a result of girls over attachment to their mothers in
household chores involving social interaction with their mothers and measuring out of
food items, quantities of water and other liquids, timing the period for which a particular
food needs to boil on fire. In addition, cooking involves estimation of how much each
person in the family needs and making allowance for necessary wastages. All these are
practical interactions of English language which girls are exposed to as they under-study
their mothers, hence, their initial higher achievements as asserted by (Gersell, 2004).
Denga (1998) posited that no evidence is clear as to whether differences exist
between males and females in academic achievement. He however stated that, girls tend
to do better than boys in language Arts like English language and music while the boys
tend to outperform the girls in Mathematics and Sciences. In the same vein, Kelly (2005)
pointed out that attempting to relate specific intellectual abilities to achievement in
specific subject areas is prone to considerable problems. Gender differences in intellectual
abilities can be as a result of gender role stereotyping. Gender differences in academic
performance cannot therefore be assumed to be due to inherent biological differences
between the genders even if they exist. The theory of innate gender differences in ability
that might be used to account for gender differences in academic performance has weak
evidence. According to Kelly, in many psychological areas, it is virtual impossibility to
separate completely the innate from the acquired.
Gender is a strong predictor of human conduct and many differences have been
documented on attitude and behaviour that affect academic performance in between
males and females, (Block, 2006). Academic performance differs between boys and girls
in basic subjects like Social Studies both in primary and secondary levels. Calsmith (2007)
explained that, the influence of gender and differences in academic performance is a
complex task, thus many studies appear to be contradictory. A tremendous amount of
work has been done in an attempt to find out potential causes of differences between
girls’ and boys’ academic performances in Social Sciences and this has clearly
demonstrated that male students are superior to their female counterparts in qualitative
courses. Maccoby (2003) for example, pointed out that girls are more conforming,
suggestible and dependent on the opinions of others. The traits in turn have been related
to dependency, inability to break a set of tasks. Maccoby then suggested that, these same
traits in females might also account for their superior performance on tests involving
analytic thinking, spatial and abilities.
In western societies, females possess higher ability in verbal test English language
than males. Sweeney, (2003) notes that female students are lower in mathematics and
spatial ability, as males were superior to females on problem solving tasks and on specific
abilities related to problem solving. Messies (2006) contended that there are gender
differences in intellectual functioning that attempts to account for both mean differences
and differences in correlation patterns between the genders. He concluded that in the
period of secondary school and beyond, the intellectual domain reveals few consistent
differences between the genders. Husen in Ayayo (2007) indicated in an investigation
spanning twelve industrialized countries the ability of both male and female students in
their general academic performance. The result revealed that males were superior over
females. This superiority was not confining to the United States of America alone. The
findings also confirmed that, even with the level of instruction held constant, males
achieved higher levels than females. Ayayo (2007) attributed the differences in
performance between boys and girls to the school environment and programmes. She
opined that prior to attending school, general intelligence of girls was higher than that of
boys but the position gradually reversed with the findings.
According to Douglas (2004), girls excelled in English language, especially in subjects
that are taught by men since the secondary schools where English language is taught, is
highly a feminine teaching environment. Douglas stressed that, this is probably one
explanation for girls’ success at the primary and early secondary school years. Supporting
this position, Powell (2004) held the opinion that girls do better at all levels than boys in
achievement even in areas such as language and arithmetic where boys seemed to excel,
girls seem to have better grades. It is obvious from the related literature reviewed that
the role of gender in the academic performance of students is a controversial issue. This
is because while some research findings revealed that gender plays active role in students’
academic performance, others revealed otherwise. This therefore leads to investigation
of effect of gender on secondary school students’ academic achievement in Social Studies.

Onekutu, P. O. (2002). Gender differences in achievements in junior secondary school
examination in integrated science: Implications for national development. Review of
Gender Studies in Nigeria, 1(3), 4-12.
Gessell, N. R. (2004). Classroom management: Principles and practice. London: George
Allen and Unwin
Vernon, T. (2002). Teacher’s comment and students’ performance. Journal of
Educational Psychology, 49 (44), 173-181.
Okoye, U. (2009). Fundamentals of teaching practice. Enugu: Fourth Dimension
Publication Co. Ltd.
Denga, D. I. (1998). Educational measurement, continuous assessment and
psychological testing. Calabar: Rapid Educational publishers.
Block, J. H. (2006). Debatable conclusions about sex differences. Contemporary
Psychology about Sex Differences, 21 (4), 517-523.
Calsmith, N. S. (2007). Gender differences in academic performance. Journal of
Experimental Psychology, 6(3), 44-50.
Maccoby, S. T. (2003). Gender conformity. Journal of School Psychology, 7 (4), 22-28.
Messeies, M. (2006). The social psychology of teaching. New York: Penguin Books Ltd
Ayayo, O. (2007). Effect of gender attitude on academic performance in economics: An
Unpublished M. Ed Dissertation, University of Calabar.
Douglas, J. W. E. (2004). The home in the school. London: Macgibbon Publishing
Powell, J. P. (2004). Experimentation and teaching in higher education. Educational
Research Journal, 6(3), 43-51.

Classroom Ventilation
Related Literature
According to Halstead (1974), it is generally accepted that high temperature and
humidity creates physiological and psychological problems which expedite fatigue, causes
people to work more slowly, apply much efforts and causes to make more mistakes and
Earthman (2004) established that temperature, heating and air quality are the
fundamental elements for the educational attainment of students.
A quality space also exerts extremely pleasant impact on students’ moods, attitudes,
and, elongates the span of their attention towards the subject. Well designed and
carefully articulated classrooms positively affect the teachers’ abilities as well, which
ultimately contributes to students’ academic achievement. Investment in school facilities
is of great importance (Picus et al, 2005).
Adequately ventilated classrooms contribute a lot in reducing absenteeism, and,
hence improve students’ academic achievement. (Olson & Kellum, 2003).

Halstead, D. K. (1974). Statewide planning in higher education. Washington, D.C.: U.S.
Government Printing Office. pp. 485,505-507,
Earthman, G. I. (2004). Prioritization of 31 Criteria for School Building Adequacy.
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Maryland. pp.11-16 .
Picus, L. O.; Marion, S. F., & Calvo, N. (2005). Understanding the Relationship Between
Student Achievement and the Quality of Educational Facilities: Evidence from Wyoming.
Peabody Journal of Education, 80(3): 71-95.
Olson, S. L. & Kellum, S. (2003). The Impact of Sustainable Buildings on Educational
Achievements in K-12 Schools. Leonardo Academy Inc. Retrieved September 7, 2010,
from http://www.cleanerandgreener.org/download/sustainableschools.pdf
Related Studies
(Murakami, 2006; Ito, 2006, 2008) in the study “Productivity in Classroom (Part 1)
Field Survey on Effects of Air Quality/Thermal Environment on Learning Performance”
concluded that the change in environmental conditions from low to high ventilation rate
significantly improved academic performance, and academic performance correlated
strongly with room air-temperature conditions. Furthermore, the results of nationwide
field measurements based on subjective questionnaire surveys and objective test scores
were also reported in a unified way (Kameda, 2007).
(Shaughnessy, 2015) in the journal “PLOS ONE” found out that fifth-grade students’ math
scores (average 2,286 points) increased along with increasing ventilation. The estimated
score increase was 74 points from the lowest observed ventilation value (0.9 liters per
second/person) to the recommended minimum ventilation rate (7.1 l/s per
second/person). An additional 64-point increase was reported along with decreasing
temperature, ranging from the highest observed temperature of 78oF (25oC) to the
lowest observed 67oF (20oC). Effects of similar magnitude were observed for reading
and science scores.
According to U.S. government reports as stated in Shaughnessy, almost half of the
nation’s schools have poor indoor air quality: air contaminated with particulates, fibers,
pollen, dust, gases and other pollutants. Without an exchange of this stale air with fresh
conditioned outdoor air, the potential for long- and short-term health problems for
students and staff increases, attendance decreases and student achievement is
Professor Clausen's research group at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has
recently presented another study, which shows that the children who take national tests
in rooms with decent ventilation perform better than those working in rooms with
inadequate ventilation.
According to TU Researchers as stated in Shaughnessy (2015), they studied air quality in
140, fifth-grade classrooms. They found a significant association between the amount of
ventilation and math scores - and math scores were higher in classrooms where the air
was colder.

Murakami, S., Kaneko, T., Ito, K., (2006) Study on the Productivity in Classroom (Part
1) Field Survey on Effects of Air Quality/Thermal Environment on Learning Performance,
Healthy Building 2006, pp.271-276.



Noise Pollution
Related Literature
Hetu et al [3] found a significant drop in children’s performance, particularly in
learning to read, when the background noise level interfered with speech.
According to According to De Andrade (2016), noise in classrooms is a barrier to
effective learning because of poor acoustics [audibility].
Noise can also be considered an environmental pollutant, a waste product generated in
conjunction with various human activities. Under this definition, noise is any sound –
independent of loudness – that may produce an undesired physiological or psychological
effect in an individual and that may interfere with the social ends of an individual or
group. These ends include all human activities, communication, work, rest, recreation
and sleep. Harris, (1979)

Hetu, R., Truchon-Gagnon, C. and Bilodeau, S.A. (1990) Problems of noise in school
settings: a review of literature and the results of an exploratory study, Journal of
Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 14(3), 31-38.
Harris, C.M. (1979). Handbook of Noise Control.(New York:McGraw Hill)

Related Studies
Similar results were obtained by Maxwell and Evans [76] in a study of pre-school
children who had been exposed to levels in the classroom of 75 dB(A). Following acoustic
treatment to reduce the noise the children’s performance improved in letter, number and
word recognition. In contrast, in a study of older children, aged 13 and 15, working in
levels of 58 to 69 dB(A) during mathematics classes [77] there was poor correlation
between sound level and standard of work; however, there was a significant relationship
between annoyance and the effect of noise on schoolwork (see section 8 for further
discussion of annoyance).
Shield and Dockrell [78] in comparing standardised assessment test scores with
internal noise levels in 16 schools found significant relationships between background
(LA90) levels in classrooms and test scores for several subjects. The test which showed
the strongest association with noise was the English test of the older (age 11) children,
the relationship still holding when the data was corrected for socio-economic factors. A
possible explanation of this result is that background speech in the classroom interferes
with general processing of language.
According to Acoustical Society of America (ASA) as stated in Matthews (2011), has been
carrying out its own research on the matter on third and fifth grade students and has
found that students had a lower reading test score in classrooms that had a higher
background noise. A similar result was seen in the correlation with language achievement
test scores and background noise levels.
Mackenzie in his research compared the performance of children in primary school
classrooms that had been acoustically treated, thereby reducing background noise levels
and reverberation times, with children in untreated classrooms. Children performed better
in word intelligibility tests in the acoustically treated rooms, the improvement being
particularly marked when other pupils were talking in the classrooms (Mackenzie, 2000).
According to the study lead by Ronsee as stated in Braconnier (2011), Researchers
collected data last year from 58 empty second and fourth grade classrooms in an Iowa
school district, measuring the volume. They then looked at the test scores from students
in each classroom and what they found was that kids who spent most of their time in the
louder classrooms produced lower test scores on standardized reading
comprehension exams.

Maxwell, L. and Evans, G. (2000) The effects of noise on pre-school childrenís pre-
reading skills. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 20, 91-97.
Shield, B.M. and Dockrell, J. (2003) The effects of classroom noise on children's
academic attainments. To be presented at Euronoise 2003.

MacKenzie, D(2000). 'Noise sources and levels in UK schools.Proc. International

symposium on Noise Control and Acoustics for Educational Buildings', Proc Turkish
Acoustical Society, Istanbul. 05(2000): 97-106.

Classroom Management
Related Literature
Poorly managed classrooms are usually characterized by disruptive behaviors such as
sleeping, late coming, noise making, miscopying of notes, eating, calling of nicknames,
verbal or physical threat to fellow students or the teacher (Ekere, 2006). These disruptive
behaviors disorganize learning processes and hamper academic performance of students.
Effiong (2007), suggests that teachers can deal with these disruptive behaviors in the
classroom and reduce them to the minimum through effective classroom management
so that effective learning can take place.
According to Bassey (2012), the wider view of classroom management shows
increased engagement, reduction in inappropriate and disruptive behaviors, promotion of
student responsibility for academic work, and improved academic performance of
Lumsden (1994) statesthat, “If students experience the classroom as a caring,
supportive place where there is sense of belonging and everyone is valued and respected,
they will tend to participate more fully in the process of learning”.
Student achievement, as well as emotional and social outcomes, can all be positively
affected by a safe, positive learning environment (Stepanek, 2000)
Kwesiga (2002) asserts that students performance is also influenced by the school in
which they study and that the number of the facilities in school offers usually determine
the quality of the school which in turn 948 affect the performance and accomplishment
of its students.
Sparkles (1999) in Considine and Zappala (2000) showed that schools environment
and teachers expectation from their students also have strong influence on students’
academic performance.

Ekere, O. S. (2006). Concept of Disruptive Behaviour Among Students in Public
Secondary Schools. Uyo: Ekpeyong Publishers, Nigeria
Effiong, U. A. (2007). Dealing with Disruptive Behaviours in the Classroom. Calabar:
Hilcop Printing Press, Nigeria.
Bassey, B. A. (2012). A Wider View of Classroom Management. Uyo: Ekong Publishing
House, Nigeria.
Lumsden, Linda S. (1994). Student motivation to learn. [Electronic version]. ERIC
Digest, (92)
Stepanek, Jennifer (2000). Mathematics and science classrooms: Building a
community oflearners: it's just good teaching. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional
Educational Laboratory.
Kwesiga, C. J. (2002). Woman’s access to higher education in Africa: Uganda’s
experience. Kampala: Fountain Publishers.
Considine. G., & Zappala, G. (2002). Influence of social and economic disadvantages in
the academic performance of school students in Australia. Journal of Sociology, 38,

Related Studies
(Moore, 2008), assessed two hundred and seventy students and nineteen grammar
school teachers and concluded that the findings of his research study suggest that
relationship exist between some classroom management strategies and higher student’s
performance scores in diverse elementary setting.
(Carolyn M.Evertson & Edmund Emme; 2006) has shown that classroom organization is
to make a smooth pavement for success, establishing a virtual atmosphere for the
students. Further it is an ideal advising in the lives of students making their future brighter
and enlightenment. The job of the teacher is to motivate learners, express the thoughts
fair and square and maintain a stable personality to achieve the required objective.
A research carried out by Nelson(2007), in §outh Africa shows that teachers who assist
students to set high expectations and encage them in self-evaluation of their performance
get better grades as compared to student with poor self-efficacy.

Moore, D. W. (2008). Classroom organizational structures as related to student
achievement in upper elementary grades in northeast Tennessee public schools.
electronic theses and dissertations at East Tennessee State University. Retrieved from:

Learning Materials Availability

Related Literature
The term instructional media as described by Adekola (2008) means all available human
and material resources which appeal to the learners’ sense of seeing, hearing, smelling,
tasting, touching,or feeling and which assist to facilitate teaching and learning.
According to DFID (2007), adequacy of instructional materials such as textbooks which
is the main instruction material is the most cost effective input affecting student
For effective teaching and learning, textbook and resource materials are basic tools, their
absence or inadequacy makes teachers handle subjects in an abstract manner, portraying
it a dry and non-exciting. It is also 14 important to have appropriate personnel plan for
adequate instructional materials and physical facilities to support educational effort.
Therefore Scarcity of textbooks, libraries and physical facilities according to Coombs
(1970), will constraint educational system from responding more fully to new demands.
In order to raise the quality of education, its efficiency and productivity, better learning
materials (TLM), physical facilities and human resources are needed.
Adeogun (2001) discovered a very strong positive significant relationship between
instructional resources and academic performance. According to Adeogun, schools
endowed with more materials performed better than schools that are less endowed.
Mwiria (1985) also supports that students performance is affected by the quality and
quantity of teaching and learning materials. The author noted that institutions with
adequate facilities such as textbooks stand a better chance of performing well in
examination than poorly equipped ones. Therefore, poor performance could be attributed
to inadequate teaching and learning materials and equipment

Adekola,G. (2008). Science Teaching in Nigeria, Ilorin. Atoto Pres.
DFID in , Denning C and Bontoux V (Eds) 2001 Upgrading Book Distribution in Africa.
ADEA Working Group on Books and Learning Materials, Paris
Adeogun, A.A. (2001). The principal and the financial management of public secondary
schools in Osun State. Journal of Educational System and Development. 5(1), pp.1 - 10.
Mwiria, K.( 1985) The Harambee School Movement: A historical perspective. Unpublished
Ph. D Thesis, University of Wisconsin.

Related Studies
Punch et al (1990) conducted a research on causes of poor performance of secondary
teachers and students. Their outcomes were related to poor teaching-learning materials
available in the schools plus the poor working conditions and community antagonism. In
their study they did not touch the aspect of teaching- learning materials, their implication
to staff and students performance. Hence there was need to undertake more research
on the title stated which still needed the answers.
For effective teaching and learning, textbook and resource materials are basic tools, their
absence or inadequacy makes teachers handle subjects in an abstract manner, portraying
it a dry and non-exciting. It is also 14 important to have appropriate personnel plan for
adequate instructional materials and physical facilities to support educational effort.
Therefore Scarcity of textbooks, libraries and physical facilities according to Coombs
(1970), will constraint educational system from responding more fully to new demands.
In order to raise the quality of education, its efficiency and productivity, better learning
materials (TLM), physical facilities and human resources are needed.
Punch .A. Et al. (1990).The general literature on teachers stress. UK: Nelson
Thornes.Publishing Ltd.

Class Size
Related Literature
Students in small classes interacted more with their teachers and were more engaged in
their learning than students in large classes, who were often observed as passively
listening to the teacher interact with other students (Blatchford et al., 2003a; Blatchford,
Bassett, & Brown, 2005; Blatchford et al., 2007; Cakmak, 2009; Finn et al., 2003; Smith,
Molnar, & Zahorik,
Pascarella and Terenzini (1991) conclude that the overall evidence suggests that class
size plays little or no influence on student achievement.
Gentry and Swift (2000) states that other factors that affect student performance are
school population and class size.
According to Stevenson, Peterson, Renee, Strand, Bondell, Kirby-Hathaway and Moore
(2014) indicated that small class sizes resulted in an increase in student achievement in
math, science, reading, and social studies.
According to Pedder (2006), teachers stated that small classes allowed them to provide
students with more individual feedback and more one-to-one interactions, and both
were identified by teachers as facilitating learning.

Pascarella, E.T. and Terenzini, P.T. 1991. How college affects students. San Francisco:
Free Press
Stevenson K.T., Peterson M.N., Carrier S.J., Strand R.L., Bondell H.D., Hathaway K.T.,
Moore S.E. (2014). Role of significant life experiences in building environmental
knowledge and behavior among middle school students. The Journal of Environmental
Education 45(3). Retrieved from:
Pedder, D. (2006). Are small classes better? Understanding relationships between small
class size, classroom processes and pupils’ learning. Oxford Review of Education, 32(2),
231-234. doi: 10.1080/03054980600645396.
Blatchford, P., Bassett, P., & Brown, P. (2005). Teachers’ and pupils’ behavior in large
and small classes: A systematic observation study of pupils aged 10/11years.
Educational Psychology, 97(3), 454-467.

Related Studies
Pascarella and Terenzini’s (1991) studies of class size and other educational factors (most
of which have been conducted in K-12 schools) tend to show an inverse connection
between achievement results and student preparation. In other words, the two
educationists concur that class size matters a lot for students who are unprepared and
come from disadvantaged backgrounds but matter little for students who bring more in
the way of social capital, aptitude, and other resources to the classroom.
Krueger (1999) utilizes multiple regression analysis and the composite mathematics and
reading score from the Stanford Achievement Test. Controlling for numerous family
background and school characteristics, he finds that students in smaller classes
performed approximately .2 to .3 standard deviations better on this standardized test
than students in the larger classes over the first four years of schooling.
An additional field experiment was performed in North Carolina in 1991, partly in
response to the criticisms of the STAR program design. Students were assigned to
classes of either 15 or 25 students in first through third grade. Achilles et al. (1995)
finds that students in the smaller classes achieved test scores that were .45 and .56
standard deviations higher than their peers in the larger classes, on the mathematics
and reading tests, respectively.
Other studies have examined the influence of class sizes on older students using data
from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS). This study began in 1988 with
a national (U.S.) sample of eighth grade students. A subset of the participants was re-
interviewed in 1990, 1992, 1994, and again in 2000. Goldhaber and Brewer (1997)
incorporate an exhaustive set of controls for teacher ability and behavior, as well as
numerous student attributes including previous test scores to control for student ability.
They report a positive and statistically significant effect of class size on standardized test
scores in the tenth grade.
Lazear (2001) outlines a theoretical model where class size itself is important due to the
role that class size plays in setting the class room environment. Large classes (more
students) may allow students to be more disruptive, allow them to “hide” from
participation, engagement, or even attendance, while small classes may more easily lend
themselves to pedagogical activities that improve learning, such as hands on activities
and student-faculty classroom interaction.
Correa (1993) posits a theoretical explanation for the importance of class size in the
education production function that focuses on the role of individual faculty-student
interaction. His model describes teachers that must weigh efforts directed to the whole
class versus individual student attention. The larger the class the greater the instructor
effort devoted to classwide activities at the expense of individual attention. In this way,
individual student learning and outcomes decline as class size increases.

Pascarella, E.T. and Terenzini, P.T. 1991. How college affects students. San Francisco:
Free Press
Krueger, Alan (1999). “Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions.”
Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol 114(2), pp. 497-532.
Achilles, C.M., P. Harman and P. Egelson (1995). “Using Research Results on Class Size
to Improve Pupil Achievement Outcomes.” Research in Schools. vol 2(2), pp. 23-30.
Goldhaber, Daniel, and Brewer, Dominick (1997). “Why Don’t Schools and Teachers
Seem to Matter? Assessing the Impact of Unobservables on Educational Productivity.”
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116(3), pp. 777-803.
Correa, Hector (1993). “An Economic Analysis of Class Size and Achievement in
Education.” Education Economics, vol 1(2), pp. 129-35.

Classroom Size
Related Studies
Siegfried and Kennedy (1995), in a study involving 178 classes taught by 121 different
instructors at 49 different colleges and universities, found no evidence that teaching
strategies employed by introductory economics instructors depended on class size.
Students’ responses to a survey also suggest that the effectiveness of various pedagogies
may not differ much between large and small classes.
Hancock (1996) in a study involving nine sections of a college statistics course (6 'normal'
sections and 3 'mega sections' averaging 118 students) found no evidence that grade
distribution was affected by class size, supporting the hypothesis that achievement was
independent of class size.
Hill (1998) investigated the effect of large sections (120 students) on student
performance in an Accounting course and found that the size of the class did not have a
significant effect on student performance. Contrary to expectations, the large class
outperformed the small classes when controlling for attendance and university GPA. Hill
concluded that large class size may be more of an expectations issue rather than a
performance issue, since students reported that they felt the class size was too large.
Papo (1999) found that the size of the class taught does not have an impact on teaching
effectiveness and the selection of teaching strategies by instructors. He concluded that
teaching in large classes is not seen or perceived as a problem by students since the
teaching and learning success may depend, in part, on what is taught. What the optimal
size of class is for a particular course and teaching task remains a problem for continued
An additional field experiment was performed in North Carolina in 1991, partly in response
to the criticisms of the STAR program design. Students were assigned to classes of either
15 or 25 students in first through third grade. Achilles et al. (1995) finds that students in
the smaller classes achieved test scores that were .45 and .56 standard deviations higher
than their peers in the larger classes, on the mathematics and reading tests, respectively.
Similarly, Walia (2008) utilizes 19 semesters of student evaluations of economics courses
at Kansas State University. Once again class size is found to have a negative and
statistically significant impact on student course evaluations.

Siegfried, J.J. and W.B. Walstad (1998): “Research on Teaching College Economics”, in
The Principles of Economics Course: A Handbook for Instructors, by William B. Walstad
and Philip Saunders (McGraw-Hill), 141-166.
Hancock, Terence M. (1996): “Effects of Class Size on College Student Achievement”,
College Student Journal (Dec.) Vol. 30(4), pp. 479-482.
Hill, Mary C. (1998): “Class Size and Student Performance in Introductory Accounting
Course: Further Evidence”. Issues in Accounting Education, (Feb.) Vol. 13(1), pp. 47-65.
Papo, William D. (1999): “Large Class Size Teaching: Is it a Problem to Students?” College
Student Journal, (Sept.) Vol. 33(3), pp. 354-358.
Achilles, C.M., P. Harman and P. Egelson (1995). “Using Research Results on Class Size
to Improve Pupil Achievement Outcomes.” Research in Schools. vol 2(2), pp. 23-30.
Walia, Bhavneet (2008). Three Essays in Health and Labor Economics Ph.D. Dissertation.
Kansas State University, 2008.