The Instigator
Slifer893
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
lyokowarri0r
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Large Class sizes(pro) vs. smaller class sizes(con)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 275 times Debate No: 91284
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

Slifer893

Pro

I would like to have a friendly debate so that I may understand the opposing arguments to my beliefs. I recall you saying that you are passionate about education reform so I would be honored if you would debate this topic with me so that I may expand my knowledge of this.
Rules are quite standard:
1) No semantics, kritiks, etc.
2) This is a casual debate so both sides will have the benefit of assumption. If you want to post sources, feel free to do so.
3) 1st round acceptance, 2nd opening statements, 3rd rebuttal, 4th counter-rebuttal and closing statements.
lyokowarri0r

Con

Looking forward to this debate. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Slifer893

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate, I hope we will have an enlightening discussion.
(I forgot about this note, but this debate is mostly focusing on High school/secondary education)
1) My first reason for larger classroom sizes is that fewer teachers are required and that it allows better teachers to use their talents on more students.. This means that rather than having say, 30 students distributed across a brilliant teacher and a mediocre one, the schools can have more students under the leadership of the best teachers.

2) Following on from the first point, with fewer teachers, fewer classrooms will be required for the same courses and students. With the emptied rooms, new courses can be introduced to expand the course selection and help students pursue their interests. Therefore, larger classes allow the school facilities' space to be used more efficiently.

3) Larger classes will allow more collaboration among students because with more students under the same teacher will have similar assignments and therefore a greater capacity to help each other.

4) Fewer teachers also means that more money can be paid to the teacher or invested into the facilities or class materials which can improve teaching as a profession and/or improve school facilities.
lyokowarri0r

Con

Thank you for the opportunity to debate this.

We seem to have a issue from the get go on deciding on which is better: large or small classes. What is "better" can be different for each person. For me, a quality education is a right of all people and the cost to achieve this cannot slow progress.

http://www.seattletimes.com...

This is a nice article describing this issue in a sense of positives and negatives of smaller class size. But it also cites several studies that clearly show that a smaller class size leads to better test scores and a lower drop out rate. With a 50% divorce rate, family as a pillar of society is crumbling and the other pillars must bear the extra weight. One of the strongest and more diverse pillar is education. A relationship with a teacher and student can be everything to a young child. In urban environment where buildings are falling apart, books and computers are few, and teachers absent, we cannot leave these souls behind to poverty. Education is the great equalizer. Larger classes is just another way to cut cost and show these disadvantage children that we do not care about them. The cost is large. But we are suppose to be the greatest nation on the face of the Earth yet we still teach children in condemned buildings with no heat or running water. I want more than smaller classes. I want a complete overhaul of the education system. I want the federal government involved in cost to rebuild and renovate our public schools. We need more classes and teachers. We need computers and text books. We need to start caring for the most valuable people in the nation: our children. So some may see larger class sizes a reasonable cost effective way to "help schools." But all it will do will lower our already stagnating educational index and hurt those who need smaller classes.

The issue stands also with those with learning disabilities or other problems impeding on learning. I, as many others, have ADHD. This disorder hurts concentration and had wrecked havoc on my learning for most of my primary schooling. When I entered secondary school, the classes were smaller and I had support from administration and from teachers. This one on one with teachers can be so important to students. At this early age peer pressure can lead to anorexia or depression. A sense of loneliness can consume a young child where a close teacher can be someone to lean on. For educational purpose, there is not argument, smaller classes are better. There is a reason that colleges try to shrink there class size and use it as a selling point. For the future of this nation, the cost should not matter. We must pursue smaller class sizes.
Debate Round No. 2
Slifer893

Pro

The reference which you cited refers primarily toward the primary education level. This is the section where I concede to smaller classes on the primary level. My primary belief is in larger class sizes on the secondary level. I notice that throughout your opening statements, they appear to appeal to the pathos quite a bit.
(May I ask for a bit more concision in your points. At least remaining more topical.)

"But it also cites several studies that clearly show that a smaller class size leads to better test scores and a lower drop out rate."
"family as a pillar of society is crumbling"
" A relationship with a teacher and student can be everything to a young child."
Once again, I will concede to smaller classes on the primary level because I concede that the young mind can be greatly impacted by personal intervention from a teacher, however I still have my primary focus upon the secondary level of education to where the quality to the material is crucial.

" Larger classes is just another way to cut cost and show these disadvantage children that we do not care about them. "
I require additional detail about this statement. This looks like a straw man to an extent, but regardless, I need more specificity as to how a larger class shows that we do not care for disadvantaged children.

"I want a complete overhaul of the education system."
So do I, so do I, but for now lets stay on topic. If you want, we can try out other debates. I find them quite enjoyable, leaning about opposite viewpoints.

"So some may see larger class sizes a reasonable cost effective way to "help schools." But all it will do will lower our already stagnating educational index and hurt those who need smaller classes."

I need more details about some specific ways that a larger class sizes will lower the quality of education and harm individuals who need smaller classes.

Overall, I feel that these arguments require additional concision and must be produced in a more topical manner in order for an effective debate to occur. In addition, numbers and date throughout the system have limited credibility because of how broad the education is. Problems in education are not just within the institutions itself, but with the very culture of the people. Thank you for your arguments.
lyokowarri0r

Con

Sorry if my arguments seem a bit rambly. I am not one to organize my thoughts.

The fact still stands that larger class room size leads to less retention of the information given. The relationship of teacher and student is important all throughout a child's learning career. Both your 1st and 2nd point deal with cost savings of larger class rooms. My issue is that this cost saving is no reason to lessen the standard of education for our children. For poorer schools with already crumbling buildings, the prospect of lowering the bar of education is not a solution. We need a different approach and that is additional funding for these schools to handle more teachers, classes, and renovations.

The 3rd point seems to not matter that much. Collaboration will be present regardless of class size. However the smaller class size allows for more personal and individual learning and a closer net group. Also, most often the same course is taught to multiple classes. Outside of the class room, many students from different classes can collaborate.

The 4th point goes back to funding.

My main issue is that larger classes is a way to cut cost and try to help struggling schools. But the result is just a lower quality education. This larger classes does not address the real issue. We do not need to cut cost, we need to raise revenue. The top 50 schools districts need about 80 billion dollars for new buildings, faculty, or renovations. This needs to be addressed and not dodged with larger class room sizes.

The rules seem to state that I cannot not counter your rebuttals just your opening argument so I end here.
Debate Round No. 3
Slifer893

Pro

First off, I would like to thank you for having this debate, it has been a learning experience.

Both your 1st and 2nd point deal with cost savings of larger class rooms.

Pardon me if I worded my statements incorrectly, but I am saying that larger classes would be more efficient as opposed to cheap. While these two terms are not mutually exclusive, they are not synonymous . Why wouldn't we want schools to be more efficient?

My issue is that this cost saving is no reason to lessen the standard of education for our children. For poorer schools with already crumbling buildings, the prospect of lowering the bar of education is not a solution.

More specificity is needed as to how larger class sizes decrease the "Standards" of education and lower the bar of education.

The 3rd point seems to not matter that much. Collaboration will be present regardless of class size. However the smaller class size allows for more personal and individual learning and a closer net group. Also, most often the same course is taught to multiple classes. Outside of the class room, many students from different classes can collaborate.

I can understand the logic behind this, however the consistency aspect still remains un-refuted. In addition, while collaboration exists within both settings, a larger class will have a greater capacity for collaboration. I also notice that the point of grouping larger quantities of students with better teachers is rather unaddressed.

The 4th point goes back to funding.

The management of capital resources is essential. While no expense should be spared, in the schools current state, there is no reason to not make the most out of what they have. "The 4th point goes back to funding." How does that invalidate the claim made?

Overall, my primary reasons that larger class sizes are better were that:
1) The teaching faculty can be filtered to require only the best and most talented teachers and allow them to practice those talents in educating more students.
2) Increase the overall efficiency of schools by allowing more courses to be added and allowing capital to be redistributed.
3) Provide a greater capacity for collaboration through added consistency and care into the assignments.
I would like to touch on the 2nd point a bit more. With fewer classrooms needed for the same subjects and student body, the emptied rooms can have new courses placed into them. With the new courses comes new options for students to pursue their interests. This is key to granting students a sense of agency and can help them be motivated.
On a closing note, I understand your thoughts on the system as a whole, but with how broad the flawed education system is, you must study and change it one point at a time. Class size is just one cornerstone of many.
Thank you for this great debate.
lyokowarri0r

Con

The main issue you seem to be not addressing is that larger class sizes directly correlates to class performance. The larger the class, the less each student retains. All of your points ask for cost efficiency or efficiency of teaching. But we see clearly that this will result in less education for the children. All other points you have made can be reminded with additional funding which is needed.
Debate Round No. 4
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