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UNIVERSITY OF EL SALVADOR

SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

FOREIGN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT



UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH

PROBLEMS THAT THE STUDENTS OF TERCER CICLO FACE IN THE LARGE ENGLISH CLASS AT CENTRO ESCOLAR “RAFAEL ALVAREZ LALINDE” IN SANTA ANA CITY

PRESENTED BY:

NORMA LIZETH CHAVEZ CHAVEZ CC02108

TERESA DE JESUS HERNANDEZ MENDOZA HM01026

GERARDO ALBERTO JUAREZ CONTRERAS JC03004

IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE DEGREE OF:

LICENCIATURA EN IDIOMA INGLES OPCION ENSEÑANZA

ADVISOR:

RICARDO GARAY SALINAS, M Ed.

San Salvador, El Salvador, Central América, September 27, 2012

AUTHORITIES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF EL SALVADOR

ING. MARIO ROBERTO NIETO LOVO



RECTOR

MTRA. ANA MARIA GLOWER DE ALVARADO



ACADEMIC VICE RECTOR

IN PROCESS TO BE ELECTED



ADMISTRATIVE VICE RECTOR
DRA. ANA LETICIA ZAVALETA DE AMAYA

SECRETARY GENERAL

AUTHORITIES OF SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCE

LIC. JOSE RAYMUNDO CALDERON MORAN



DEAN

MTRA. NORMA CECILIA BLANDON DE CASTRO



VICE-DEAN

MTRO. ALFONSO MEJIA ROSALES



SECRETARY

AUTHORITIES OF THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE DEPARTMENT

MTRO. RICARDO ANTONIO GAMERO



HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT

RICARDO GARAY SALINAS, M Ed.



ADVISOR AND GENERAL COORDINATOR OF

THE DEGREE PROCESSES

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

TO GOD ALMIGHTY

TO MY MOTHER

TO MY FATHER

TO MY SISTERS AND BROTHERS

TO MY CO-WORKERS
Thanks Lord for giving me the wisdom, strength, and faith to achieve this goal, for blessing my life. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5

God bless you, mother, for your unconditional love, patience, and comprehension to me. Thanks for your prayers, advices and for being there when I need you.

For the support, concern, and love during all this years. God bless you!
For the confidence, help, and affection that you give me

Thank you for your friendship and support. For let me share this experience with you. Thanks a lot!



NORMA LIZETH CHAVEZ CHAVEZ

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

With especial dedication to:


GOD

TO MY PARENTS

TO MY SISTER

TO MY TEACHERS

TO MY FRIENDS

TO MY CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS

For giving the strength to deal with any kind of situation in my life

Rosa Estela de Hernández and Oscar Armando Hernández, for being there for me at any time, for their support, unconditional love, and for all their effort to help me in everything they could

Elda Beatriz Hernández Mendoza, for giving me joy and believing in me.

For their contribution to my professional development

Julia Margarita Chilin Paniagua and Oscar Oswaldo Zepeda Vargas, for their dedication to help me whenever I needed, for their support and encouragement that inspired me to never give up


Norma Chávez and Gerardo Juarez, for their friendship, enthusiasm, support, and dedication in the development of this work




TERESA DE JESUS HERNANDEZ MENDOZA

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


TO MY GOD AND SAVIOR

TO MY BELOVED PARENTS

TO MY BELOVED “TIA PATY”

TO MY AUNTS AND RELATIVES

TO MY TEACHER LIZ AND DAUGHTERS

My love, devotion, and worship are yours. For your unending love, for being more than a friend to me, and for everything you have done for me; for Jesus Christ, my Savior, I surrender this major at your feet “…Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4, 11

I love you so much. Words cannot express how thankful am I for your unconditional love, support, and patience “…good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting” James 1, 17

For being like a second Mother, not only for me, but for nearly all my cousins; thank you for your great love and support “then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations” Genesis 17, 15b

Dear “Tia Conchy and Tia Margara” my other aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and friends. Thank you for your love and support. “…and in multitude of counselors there is safety..” Proverbs 24, 6b

For your friendship and for being such an inspiration to take this major “she speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue” Proverbs 31, 26b



TO BEATRIZ HENRIQUEZ

TO TEACHER GLOWER

TO MY PASTORS AND THE CHURCH

For your great support, company, and the special moments, you are so special “…thank you for being such a friend to me, Oh I pray a friend for life…” Flyleaf – Broken Wings; “…a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17, 17

For giving me warmth welcomes to my new place of study “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding” Proverbs 3, 13

For all the prayers, the friendship, and the special moments “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1, 16



TO THE RESEARCH TEAM

For being a blessing for me, I really enjoyed working with you both girls. Norma Chavez and Teresa Hernandez this moment is ours. “In all labor there is profit” Proverbs 14, 23a




GERARDO ALBERTO JUAREZ CONTRERAS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

TO OUR ADVISOR

We owe special thanks to our advisor Ricardo Garay Salinas for his unconditional support during the elaboration of this project. He provided us valuable assistance, guidance, and advices to the successful completion of this work.

TO THE AUTHORITIES OF CENTRO ESCOLAR “RAFAEL ALVAREZ LALINDE” IN SANTA ANA CITY

For letting our research team to enter to their school to carry out this investigation, providing their valuable trust in us in this important research project, and as well for having given us the necessary support without any hesitation.



INDEX

INTRODUCTION xi

ABSTRACT xiii

CHAPTER I

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

1.1 DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM 1

1.2 OBJECTIVES 4

1.3 JUSTIFICATION 5

CHAPTER II

STATE OF ART 7

CHAPTER III

METHODOLOGICAL DESIGN

3.1 TYPE OF PARADIGM AND TYPE OF RESEARCH 15

3.2 DESCRIPTION OF THE POPULATION AND THE SAMPLE 16

3.3 FORMULATION OF THE OBJECTIVES 17

3.4 FORMULATION OF THE STATE OF ART 17

3.5 DATA GATHERING TECHNIQUES AND INSTRUMENTS 17

3.6 ELABORATION OF THE INSTRUMENTS 19

3.7 PROCESS TO VALIDATE INSTRUMENTS 19

3.8 PROCESS TO BUILT RAPPORT WITH THE STUDENTS………………………20

3.9 DESCRIPTION OF THE DATA GATHERING TECHNIQUES PROCESS .21

3.10 PROCESS TO ANALYZE AND INTERPRET DATA 22

3.11 VISUALIZATION OF THE INVESTIGATION 23

CHAPTER IV

DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

4.1 DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS 24

CHAPTER V

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

CONCLUSIONS 37

RECOMMENDATIONS 42

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES 45

ANNEXES

ANNEX A 49

ANNEX B 50

ANNEX C 51

ANNEX D 54

ANNEX E 67

ANNEX F 77

ANNEX G 83

ANNEX H 84

ANNEX I 85

ANNEX J 86

ANNEX K 129

ANNEX L 130

ANNEX M 132

INTRODUCTION

With the increasing population, the number of students’ enrollment to school is growing much faster than the number of schools does. Overcrowded classrooms present a problem not only to teachers but also to students. The public school buildings in El Salvador are small. The classrooms often do not have enough materials to support all the students who are attending and the classes are overpopulated.

This document comprises all the information about the undergraduate research work “Problems that the Students of Tercer Ciclo face in the Large English Class at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana City”. The study describes how problems of discomfort, control, individual attention, evaluation, and learning effectiveness take place in the large English class with the students from 7th to 9th grade at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana city.

This research contains five chapters: Chapter I that consists of the description of the problem, the objectives, and the justification. In this chapter are found the strong reasons why this project is relevant. Chapter II is composed of the state of art, where is presented the theory that functions as reference material for the investigation. Chapter III encompasses the type of paradigm and type of research the researchers used to execute the study; the description of the population and sample; formulation of the objectives; creation of the state of art, data gathering techniques and instruments; validation; the process to build rapport with the students taken as sample; description of the data gathering techniques process; process to analyze and interpret data; and the visualization of the investigation. Chapter IV presents the analysis and interpretation of data through the application of the instruments to the students of Tercer Ciclo at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde and the use of the software Nvivo 8. Finally, the chapter V includes the conclusions the teamwork drew after the discussion of the results, and the recommendations.



ABSTRACT

The main purpose of this research project was to understand how problems of discomfort, control, individual attention, evaluation, and learning effectiveness take place in the large English class with the students from 7th to 9th grade at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana city.

Thus, the investigation was aimed at answering the question: How do problems of discomfort, control, individual attention, evaluation, and learning effectiveness take place in the large English class with students from 7th to 9th grade at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana city?

This was a qualitative research study because it was used to gain insight into people's attitudes, behaviors, concerns, meanings, and culture. Besides, it includes a description of the main problems found in the large English class. The Ethnography and Photography methods were used in this research because ethnography is focused on describing a culture or way of life in the participants’ points of view and photography enriches it by taking into account recording equipment. The unit under study was 18 out of 84 students from 7th to 9th grade at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana city. Subsequently, it was found out that the problems of discomfort, control, individual attention, and evaluation affect in great manner students and teachers in large classes since they are obstacles for learning effectiveness. Even though the students’ lack of interest seemed to be a main factor here, the other problems mentioned above only contribute to make the situation worst. Therefore, some recommendations are included to be taken into account in order to minimize the effect of the problems.



CHAPTER I

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

1.1 DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM

Large classes in many developing countries are an unavoidable fact of life and will remain so for many years to come, just as in the previous centuries they were a typical feature of the education systems of industrialized countries (Valérien, 1991). Thus, class size is an ongoing issue in education and it is continually expanding. For this reason, researchers and educators have argued that large classes can have negative effects on students achievement as Leahy (2006) has stated that it consists of a decrease in student achievement of those in larger classes and an increase in student achievement of those in smaller classes.

In El Salvador, the issue of having large classes in public school is very common since the population growth has increased abruptly in the last decades (Tobar, Hernandez, & Alvarenga, 2005). Thus, population growth has become one of the main reasons why Salvadoran public schools have large classes making the teachers’ job harder to develop. In the Education System of El Salvador, English teaching has been taught since long time ago in Tercer Ciclo (7th, 8th, and 9th grades) taking into account that students are in a propitious age to learn easily a new language (Tobar, Hernandez, & Alvarenga, 2005). However, according to some English educators, this process should be developed in the best conditions.

In public schools of El Salvador, it is very common for teachers from 1st to 9th grade to find classes with more than 25 students. In addition, according to Roni Reynaldo Alvarez, principal of Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana City, the enrollment of students has increased significantly since the last three years. This year, for instance, the institution had an increase of students willing to study due to some benefits they have been given by the government. Unfortunately, student overpopulation is one of the most important hindrances that can affect the teaching-learning process. In addition, the classrooms size is a factor since they are very small for the amount of students they can hold. The number of students in Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde exceeds the number established by experts in teaching a foreign language. According to Murphy (1998), a small class contains 13-17 students while a large class contains 22-25 students. This factor makes it hard for the teachers to control students and guide their learning. Therefore, students at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde face a series of problems that a large class may have.



Students in large classes report the highest degree of dissatisfaction on course-evaluation questions relating to the quality of student instructor and student-student interaction (Feldman, 1984; Carbone & Greenberg, 1998) quoted by Cuseo Joe (n.d.). At Centro Escolar Rafael Lalinde, the students faced this problem because there were 34 students in the seventh grade, 25 in the eighth grade, and 25 in the ninth grade, in the classrooms with capacity for 17 students. This situation was difficult because as it was observed in the institution, the teacher could not move around the classroom to monitor the entire class. The students at the back made noise and distracted the rest of the class. Because of the big amount of students, not all of them could participate in class; moreover, some other students were reluctant to participate because they felt ashamed to make mistakes in front of their classmates, especially girls since there are more boys than girls in all the classrooms of Tercer Ciclo of the school mentioned above. Hayes (1997) summarized the problems with teaching in large classes as follows: discomfort, lack of control, individual attention, evaluation, and learning effectiveness. Moreover, through spontaneous talks, the researchers found out relevant information to support this situation. Though there were some students that have no major problems when being exposed to this kind of situation, the rest faced any issue in such environment. For example, a student said, “No me gusta participar en la clase de ingIés porque me da pena” (I do not like to participate in class because I feel embarrassed). Other student expressed, “No me gusta que la seño de ingIés me haga repetir una palabra o una oración en voz alta porque no puedo inglés” (I do not like when the teacher asks me to repeat a word or a sentence aloud because I cannot speak English”). This was related to fear to perform in front of a large group of classmates. Seemingly, most of the students liked the language and considered it important for their future, but they did not feel like learning a big deal. Thus, they expressed that they have found the English subject very difficult. Therefore, an important question arises: How do problems of discomfort, control, individual attention, evaluation, and learning effectiveness take place in the large English class with students from 7th to 9th grade at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana city?

1.2 OBJECTIVES

GENERAL OBJECTIVE

  • To understand how problems of discomfort, control, individual attention, evaluation, and learning effectiveness take place in the large English class with the students from 7th to 9th grade at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana city

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:

  • To describe how the problem of discomfort in the large English class affects students from 7th to 9th grade at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana city

  • To illustrate how the problem of control takes place in the large English class with the students from 7th to 9th grade from Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana city

  • To describe how the problem of individual attention affects students from 7th to 9th grade in the large English class at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana city

  • To illustrate how the problem of evaluation takes place in the large English class with students from 7th to 9th grade at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana city

  • To describe how the problem of learning effectiveness occurs in the large English class with students from 7th to 9th grade at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana city

1.3 JUSTIFICATION

Most teachers agree that teaching a small group of students is easier, more enjoyable, and less time consuming than teaching a large group. Unfortunately, due to budgets, space, or lack of teachers, many ESL schools only offer large classes. Besides, education researchers suspect that class size reduction in the early grades helps students to achieve because there is a greater opportunity for individual interaction between student and teacher in a small class (Greatschools, 2012). Therefore, this research was aimed to explain how the problems of discomfort, control, individual attention, evaluation, and learning effectiveness affected students in the large English class at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in Santa Ana city since the school presented the case of overpopulation.

Since it is very common to find large classes in public schools in El Salvador, the researchers considered that it was relevant to carry out an investigation on this area. Besides, there were not too many studies in this country about the topic, so the investigators considered that to accomplish a project like this could help to improve the students’ performance even with an increased number of students. But first, it was important to determine what the problems were to see how they affected the students, so the most convenient options could be provided to deal with the situation. The investigators decided to make the investigation at Centro Escolar Rafael Alvarez Lalinde because this school met the requirements to develop this research about the problems of large English classes essentially in 7th, 8th, and 9th grade. Moreover, the Principal and the rest of the teachers of the institution welcomed the idea of carrying out the study on their school because they are concerned about the problems, and they expected with this study to find out better ways to deal with the issue.

Previous observations and spontaneous talks showed that many students faced problems when being in the large English class. The students hardly moved inside a small classroom with more than twenty-five people. With so many students packed into one classroom, the teacher was not able to have one-on-one time with the students that needed help. With the classroom overcrowded, the teacher hardly ever saw what was happening with all the students. It was very difficult for the teacher to keep an eye on say 25 plus students when also trying to teach; besides, some shy students or more introverted students felt inhibited to freely ask questions or make comments when the group was large. This affected the students' development, confidence and understanding of the subject. Researchers believe that smaller class sizes increase student achievement. Thus, it is critical that class size and its effects be investigated (Leahy, 2006). Therefore, the inspiration to make this research was to help students to have a better learning environment, to guide teachers overcome the issue of overpopulation at public schools. Even though it was not possible to eliminate these problems completely, conditions were created to diminish them.


CHAPTER II

STATE OF ART

A child's experience in an elementary school classroom serves as the foundation for the rest of his educational career. However, many elementary school students must learn in overcrowded, large classes; the growth of large classrooms in the developing world is tied to two interrelated trends: global initiatives for universal education and rapid population growth. These are a result of a web of factors that make large classrooms an enduring feature of the developing world. Thus, rapid population growth is the foundation upon which discussions of school overcrowding rest. In the four decades between 1959 and 1999 the world’s population doubled. Therefore, there is a need to deal with situation searching for ways to increase student success (Benhow, H, Mizrachi, A, Oliver, D, & Said-Moshira, L, 2007) quoted by GreatSchools staff (2008).

As explained by O'Brien (2011), the large classes are overwhelming teachers, for example, one 24-year veteran said: “I’ve won awards. I am a champion teacher. … This is the first time I’ve felt inadequate.” Thus, the author continues by saying that these classes also upset students. One high school senior pointed out that class sizes are so large that classrooms do not have enough seats. Some students have to stand or go into the hallway. It makes them feel unimportant. So, the biggest problem is that kids aren’t getting the education they deserve and teachers struggle to keep up with basic work.

As stated by GreatSchools Staff (2008), many studies have shown an increase in student achievement, fewer discipline problems and improvement in teacher morale and retention as a result of class size reduction. But many researchers question whether the costs outweigh the benefits. Enlargement of class size may seem to be the only solution to deal with the shortage in personnel and material resources. However, large classes result in many problems associated with the teaching and learning of English. These problems are the following:



Discomfort

Discomfort is defined by audioenglish.net as the state of being tense and feeling pain or an uncomfortable feeling of mental painfulness and distress. This factor is a big problem in the large English class. Hayes (1996) has found that many teachers are worried by the physical constraints imposed by large numbers in confined classrooms. They feel unable to promote student interaction, since there is no room to move about. Some teachers also feel that teaching in large classes is physically very weary. The students cannot move easily and some students do not do the activities. Teachers must speak very loud and make them sore throat. There is not enough room (space) to do the activities. Large size of class makes teachers very frustrated and tired and they feel hopeless to manage the class successfully (Hayes, 1996). As stated by GreatSchools Staff (2008), it has been found that when the class size is small, students are more likely to achieve because there is a greater opportunity for a good interaction since there is little distraction and noise, so they can feel more comfortable. On the other hand, teachers are less likely to feel overwhelmed and more likely to provide a supportive environment. As a result, the small class reduces the distractions in the room and gives the teacher more time to devote to each child.

Lake, William (2011) expresses that “when teaching a large class, it is important to remember that you might be pushed for space. You might not be able to arrange the classroom how you usually do or how you would like.” Ensure that the students are as comfortable as possible to help them to stay interested in any class activities. If possible, arrange the students into groups.

Control

Henry Fayol (1949) defined Control as an undertaking that consists of seeing that everything is being carried out in accordance with the plan which has been adopted, the orders which have been given, and the principles which have been laid down. Its object is to point out mistakes in order that they may be rectified and prevented from recurring. These principles are founded in effective teaching theories and classroom management to support the teaching-learning process at any environment it is carried out. Kennedy and Kennedy (1996) stated that it is difficult to control what happens when the number of group passes a certain number. In these words is accurately described the reality of education in developing countries, especially, in public schools, in which day by day, teachers need to face and overcome the difficulties lack of control may bring. Teachers are often worried by the discipline aspects of large classes. They feel they are unable to control what is happening and that the classes become too noisy (Hayes, 1997). The issue of control in class is strongly related with discipline, and the larger the class, the less control the teacher can have; in addition, Hess (2001) has admitted that teachers feel the loss of authority; they often feel that with a large number of students in a class it is more difficult to maintain discipline. Nevertheless, good organization helps to promote good control, as It helps students to know what is expected of them and to get on task quickly and efficiently. Also, setting up routines early in the term helps the class to operate more smoothly.



Individual Attention

Blatchford (2003) showed the importance teachers attach to individual attention as the basis for effective teaching and how this suffered in larger classes and that in small classes pupils were more likely to be the focus of a teacher’s attention. Conversely, in a large class there is more chance that a pupil would be in an ‘audience’ mode, that is, listening to the teacher address all pupils equally or another pupil. Small classes therefore seem to allow more individual attention, while in large classes students are more likely to be one of the crowd.

Education researchers suspect that class size reduction in the early grades helps students to achieve because there is a greater opportunity for individual interaction between student and teacher in a small class. Teachers generally have better morale in a small class, too, and are less likely to feel overwhelmed by having a variety of students with different backgrounds and achievement levels. One researcher, Frederick Mosteller notes "Reducing the size of classes in the early grades reduces the distractions in the room and gives the teacher more time to devote to each child" (GreatSchools Staff, 2008).

GreatSchools Staff (2008) considers that smaller classes allow teachers to devote more time to instruction and less to classroom management; smaller classes are popular with teachers unions and administrators. Many studies have shown an increase in student achievement, fewer discipline problems and improvement in teacher morale and retention as a result of class size reduction.

According to OSSTF/FEESO (Ontario Secondary School Teachers´ Federation n. d.), large class sizes mean less individual attention for students, both in class and after hours because of the higher preparation and marking load for teachers with large classes. With less individual attention, students can become frustrated and more behavioral problems can arise in class, which makes it harder for all the students to learn.

Class size affects the quality of the classroom environment. In a small class, there are more opportunities to adapt learning programmers to the needs of individuals. Chances are good that the climate is friendlier and or conductive to learning. Class size affects pupils’ attitude, either as a function of better performance or contributing to it. In smaller classes, pupils have more interest in learning. Perhaps, there is little distraction (Ahmad Azhar, Mahamood, 2004).



Evaluation

To evaluate is to assess or appraise. Evaluation is the process of examining a subject and rating is based on its important features (Kiefer, 2012). As investigated by the Deakin University (2010), in a large class there are a number of issues associated with evaluation. For example, the difficulty to return work promptly to ensure the feedback is optimized. The need to manage large numbers of assessment pieces, and deal with occurrences of plagiarism and cheating, can also create particular problems. Although all of these issues can occur in any teaching and learning situation, they are generally magnified when dealing with large classes. The CSHE (Center for the Study of Higher Education) (2012) has identified five challenges when it comes to evaluate or assess: The first one is avoiding assessment that encourages shallow learning so less demanding assessment may significantly diminish the quality of learning in higher education. The second one is providing high quality, individual feedback, so it is common for students to receive little direct feedback. The third one is fairly assessing a diverse mix of students, so it is necessary from the students to undertake a foundation unit to develop necessary academic/study skills and/or skills to successfully undertake assessment tasks. The fourth one is managing the volume of marking and coordinating the staff involved in marking; this requires developing student skills and understanding related to the assessment requirements prior to their undertaking assessment tasks. Finally, the fifth challenge is minimizing plagiarism; one reason students may deliberately cheat in a large class is because they may feel somewhat anonymous and “lost in the crowd” and are less likely to be caught.



Learning Effectiveness

All teachers want their students to learn English. They are worried if they do not know who is learning what.

“I am not sure that my students get what I have taught exactly. It is difficult to control the students and I do not know what they have learnt because there are a lot of students. Some maybe understand but some maybe not understand and the teacher does not know what.”

Thus, with more children in the class there will be more potential for distraction and more possibility of being off task. Conversely, in small classes there will be more opportunity to engage children and keep them on task (Rowe, 1995) quoted by Blatchford, Bassett and Brown. According to Science for all Americans on line (1989, 1990), Effective learning often requires more than just making multiple connections of new ideas to old ones; it sometimes requires that people restructure their thinking radically. That is, to incorporate some new idea, learners must change the connections among the things they already know, or even discard some long-held beliefs about the world. The alternatives to the necessary restructuring are to distort the new information to fit their old ideas or to reject the new information entirely. Students come to school with their own ideas, some correct and some not, about almost every topic they are likely to encounter. If their intuition and misconceptions are ignored or dismissed out of hand, their original beliefs are likely to win out in the long run, even though they may give the test answers their teachers want. Mere contradiction is not sufficient; students must be encouraged to develop new views by seeing how such views help them make better sense of the world. Researchers have used various techniques to study the effect of class size on the quality of education.

A study that examined the relationship between class size and student performance at Binghamton University revealed that large class sizes adversely affect both student performance and retention (Keil et al. 1996) quoted by Bradley, C and Green, E . In a similar study, Borden and Burton discovered that students in large classes did not perform as well as students in small classes (Borden and Burton 1999) quoted by Bradley, C and Green, E.

CHAPTER III

METHODOLOGICAL DESIGN

This chapter explains in detail the steps that were followed to carry out this research. First, a brief description of the type of research is presented. Second, the descriptions of the population and sample are included. Third, the research techniques and instruments are described in the order they were used. Fourth, the process to validate instruments is presented. Finally, this chapter presents how rapport building, data analysis process, and data analysis and interpretation procedures were carried out.


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