The bigger the class, the less likely you’ll pass


Does the amount of kids in a classroom matter? Is it possible that it can negatively affect the ability to learn and absorb information?

According to an article from, the U.S. Department of Education said, “Crowded classroom conditions not only make it difficult for students to concentrate on their lessons, but inevitably limit the amount of time teachers can spend on innovative teaching methods such as cooperative learning and group work or, indeed on teaching anything beyond the barest minimum of required material.”

This year at VHS, classes seem to be more crowded than usual. At Ventura High School, the average class size is at about 34 students. However as of now, many classes are well over the average number of students.

When asked, “Would you prefer to be in a smaller sized class?” River Winn, a junior, responded “yeah, because I feel like it’s easier to focus and just like have less distractions.”

However, Omar Al-Bawab, a fellow junior, responded differently saying, “No, I like the vibe that a big classroom gives me.”

In a recent Twitter poll by The Cougar Press, 70% of 67 voters said yes, when asked if they feel that a crowded classroom compromises their ability to focus and learn as best as they can.

When junior Mary Sinclair was asked what she believed the most important problem with a larger class size was, she responded, “I just think the whole space thing. Like, in some of my classes some kids don’t even have desks.”

Mr. Biller, a Math 1 and Math 3 Honors teacher at VHS, explained his take on the situation.

“They’ve been doing okay, like better than I thought they’d do, but it’s the beginning of the year and I feel like the longer I have a lot of people in there, the harder it’s going to get, because the more comfortable they are going to get in the class. Initially, I had 45 students in my class, now they are both down to 43, and so I have students without desks right now and I’m just kind of waiting another week to see what we’re going to do before I add more desks.”

When Biller was asked what he believed the most difficult thing about teaching a larger class was, he said, “we do everything in groups, and so I don’t get very much time to spend with each group because there’s more groups than there usually would be. And so, I feel like you know while I’m over here working with a group, that group may be doing absolutely nothing, and for me to move around to all the groups and get to all of them just takes too much time. And so time away from their education, and not getting enough.”

According to a study on the impact of overcrowded classrooms and academic performance, by Jehangir Shah, a research scholar from the University of Peshawar Pakistan, “Students in smaller classes develop more positive attitudes, perceptions, and human relationships. They can think more creatively and divergently and can achieve higher attention and lower absence rates. 
In small classes students are in more close relation, they develop better understanding and associate themselves with their classmates as well as with their teachers.”