Is Teacher-Student Ratio Important?

by NYC Firm Schools on September 25, 2010

One of the important measures of quality in searching for a private school is the number of students per classroom. This is usually measured in terms of teacher to student ratio.

One of the criticisms against public schools is the overcrowded classroom. It’s not uncommon to find 20 or more students per teacher in a public school. Some schools have as many as 30 students per classroom – and only one teacher. However, some educational philosophers agree that a lower teacher-student ratio leads to a higher quality education.

Is that true? Is it possible?

The idea of the teacher-student ratio is to provide as much one-on-one attention as possible for each child throughout the learning process. If you have one teacher and 30 students then each student gets less individualized attention. That means challenges and obstacles your child faces in the classroom are less likely to be overcome, or it will take longer to get past those obstacles.

On the other hand, not all students require as much one-on-one attention. Every student has his or her own learning style.

While teacher-student ratios are important, it’s hard to say whether there is an ideal ratio. Individualized attention does not necessarily mean your child will learn faster. It doesn’t mean he or she will learn slower either. Remember, this is just one measure of educational quality. It isn’t the only measure.

When it comes to teacher-student ratios, parents are wise to look at them but don’t expect that a school with a low teacher-student ratio will necessarily be the right school for your child.

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