Hearing the Student Voice on Class Size Reduction

  • Gary James Harfitt


This chapter also reports findings from the six cases studies described in Chap.  2, but this time with specific reference to the under-researched student perspective towards teaching and learning in large and reduced-size classes. The chapter starts with an overview of the literature on student voice and how it should be seen as a powerful source of information on classroom teaching and learning processes. The chapter will then present qualitative data extracted from multiple student interviews as well as observational data taken from my time spent with students in and out of class in each case study school. Findings demonstrate a thoughtful, constructive and insightful student voice that provides an original and refreshing perspective of how small classes differ from large classes in terms of the opportunities that they present to students as well as teachers. Findings are organized around salient themes that emerged from the interviews and include students’ views on their sense of belonging, their participation in learning opportunities in and out of the classroom, the amount of support given to peers, cultural perspectives including issues of ‘face’, language learning anxiety and confidence in language learning. Observational data also reveals a marked difference in student behaviour between the small and large classes.


Large Class Individual Student Small Class Class Community Classroom Community 
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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Copyright information

© 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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