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Benefits Of Smaller Classrooms: Applying Coaching Principles

Classrooms at school have boomed to their largest size for nearly 20 years. Recent data suggests that the average class size is 24.6, yet hundreds of thousands of children are being taught in classes of more than 30 students. How can a student expect to learn effectively in this environment? 

Whilst there is an incentive for policy-makers to increase class sizes in order to control spending on education, the drawbacks on individual learning are prominent. 

The major reason why a smaller classroom is beneficial? Teachers can take on the role of a coach which facilitates personal development and specialised learning techniques for the student. 

Teaching vs Coaching – What’s The Difference? 

It is important to understand that there is a difference between teaching and coaching in the classroom. 

The line between the two is created by the relationship the teacher has with the student.  

Teaching is the imparting of new knowledge onto someone who is in the position to learn, or is instructing someone as to how to do something.  

It is merely presenting knowledge by taking charge of the interaction. 

Coaching uses purpose-led techniques in the classroom to really understand and guide the student with individual attention to understand his/her educational needs and create change.  

Coaching presents knowledge by levelling the interaction to a humanistic connection. Through conversations lead by support and guidance, coaches extract mindful answers so that they can observe how and what the students learn. Coaches can then re-evaluate the teaching approach to provide a more refined experience for the student. 

Coaches Can’t Coach The Masses 

A teacher can impart knowledge and present information onto the masses, however this presentation is unmodified on a personal stance to give preference to any  student. 

Coaching is centred around the student, and so teacher’s cannot adopt coaching principles in a larger classroom where it becomes hard for that individual to divide his or her attention and guide each student individually.  

Therefore, teachers can only apply coaching principles in smaller classrooms.  

The Benefits Of Coaching A Smaller Classroom 

“Coaching done well may be the most effective intervention designed for human performance.” 

– Atul Gawande, Personal Best, The New Yorker 

Here are some reasons as to why a student can benefit from learning in a smaller classroom, where teachers can apply coaching principles: 

  • More attention from the teacher: In a smaller classroom, teachers will have more of an opportunity to get to know each of their students better, can assess the best way in which they work and guide them towards improving on their weaknesses.  
  • More efficient learning: Teachers can assess the student’s particular needs and can develop a teaching approach that facilitates more efficient learning for the individual. This in turn results in better academic results. 
  • More feedback: Teachers will have more time to individualize the class’ feedback, where students can reflect on their progress and make the required changes to improve on their weaknesses.  
  • More confidence: In a smaller size classroom, students feel more confident to participate, helping to strengthen the engagement and relationship between the student and teacher. 

Ultimately, a smaller classroom enables teachers to apply coaching principles, whereby every student receives an individualised learning experience through personal communication and support.  

This in turn results in more efficient learning and better academic results. 

With Ceed, we provide everyone within your educational institution a coaching experience so that they become better learners and teachers. 

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