Class Size Reduction: A Global Debate

  • Gary James Harfitt


This chapter starts by examining the vigorous debate that has surrounded the global issue of class size reduction (CSR) for so many years. It then charts a possible way ahead for class size research by arguing for a more substantial evidence base on how and why teaching and learning can differ in classes of different size in the under-researched context of the secondary school classroom. There then follows a definition of key terms and concepts in the class size literature. The issue of class size in East Asia is complicated by a host of cultural factors, and what is described as the Asian paradox. This paradox will be discussed with particular reference to the many international attainment tests which have been used erroneously in my opinion to suggest a positive link between large class sizes in Asia and students’ consistently high achievement levels when compared with their Western counterparts who often study in smaller classes. The chapter concludes with a description of the research aims of the book, an overview of the educational landscape for this study, and a comment on Hong Kong’s central position in current research on CSR.


Class Size Small Class Classroom Process Star Project Average Class Size 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary James Harfitt
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong SAR

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