Early childhood education

Final Report

One education topic of interest is classroom management in early childhood education and its impact on learning. The following studies annotated below address the topic of classroom management in early childhood education.

Canbeldek, M. & Erdogan, I. (2017). The Effects of Early Childhood Classroom Size and Duration on Development of Children. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 68 (2017) 257-271.

This study involved a qualitative study that was conducted to assess the impacts of classroom size in the development of children in early childhood education. The study also sought to assess whether a relationship between the duration of education programs and development levels of learners exists. 1000 children were selected to participate in the study through the cluster sampling method. This was a significant size considering that the population of the study was 8,141 children attending the public early childhood programs in Turkey. The data was collected through the use of surveys, questionnaires and interview. According to the researchers, the study found out that classrooms with 20 to 24 children had more positive development effects on learners than larger classrooms. This suggests that having more teachers per student leads to higher development scores than having fewer teachers. 

Barrett, P., Davies, F., Zhang, Y… et al. (2016). The Holistic Impact of Classroom Spaces on Learning in Specific Subjects. Environment & Behavior, 49(4), 425–451.

This mixed method research was conducted in U.K. primary schools to assess the impact of the classrooms design in terms of physical spaces on the learning progress of pupils aged from 5 to 11 years (U.S. kindergarten to fifth grade). Quantitative data was collected about the classroom sizes while qualitative data was collected about the children classroom progress in reading, writing and maths. The sample size was 153 classrooms in 27 schools and this sample size was significant considering the total number of schools in the UK. Data was also collected from 3,766 pupils in these schools. The method of data collection involved getting information from the schools about the classroom sizes and the performance of the learners in these classrooms. The researchers found out that light and flexibility which are common in larger classrooms positively impact reading, writing and maths progress. 

Gershenson, S., & Langbein, L. (2015). The Effect of Primary School Size on Academic Achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis37(1_suppl), 135S-155S. 

This study explored the effect of school size on the academic performance on learners in the fourth and fifth grades in North Carolina using student-level longitudinal administrative data. The quantitative research involved the use of administrative data to compare the performance of learners who move schools. The researchers used 691,450 unique students who attended 1,417 unique schools between 2004 and 2010 in North Carolina. Data was collected from the administration and the type of data collected included the number of students, the sizes of schools in terms of the number of students and the performance of these learners between 2004 and 2010. Results of the study show that an increase in school size or the number of students in a school reduced the performance in math and reading.

Almulla, M. (2017). An Investigation of Teachers’ Perceptions of the Effects of Class Size on Teaching. International Education Studies, 8(12), 33-42.

This article is an action research that is qualitative in nature and it involves an investigation of perceptions of Saudi Arabian primary school teachers (handling children aged 4 to 6 years) on the impacts of classroom size on teaching. A total of 67 teachers were interviewed and they included 30 teachers handling small classes and 37 teachers handling larger classes. Data was collected through interviewing the teachers and the use of questionnaires. The researchers found out that teachers in larger classrooms tend to use lecture methods of teaching while teachers in smaller classrooms group or pair learners as a teaching method. The participants also reported that they would rather teacher in classrooms with 15 to 20 learners than in larger classrooms.

The most effective study

Out of the four studies, the one that is the most effective in the area of interest in education is: Canbeldek, M. & Erdogan, I. (2017). The Effects of Early Childhood Classroom Size and Duration on Development of Children. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 68 (2017) 257-271. This is because this study specifically focuses on the effects of classroom size and duration on the development of children. The study is powerful because of the way it has been conducted in terms of methodology, study sample and the study implications. 

Out of a study population of 8,141 children, the researchers got a sample of 1,000 children who were selected to participate in the study through the cluster sampling method. This method enabled the researchers to group the entire population into smaller homogenous groups and this increases the feasibility of a study. In addition, researchers can easily increase the sample size depending on the size of clusters and this could help increase the validity and generalizability of the results. 

The chosen study can also influence an action research project of my own as the same sampling method could be used to get a large sample to conduct a study on using few resources. This is because the cluster sampling method requires fewer resources in terms of administrative and travel expenses. In addition, the study will offer insights on how to conduct a survey involving a large study sample and analysing the results in ways that would develop understanding on the topic of study. The article by Canbeldek & Erdogan, (2017) can also be used to enhance the validity and reliability of the intended action research by using a standard measurement tool and seeking the opinion of experts in developing questionnaires and survey questions. 

The study could also act as a background for the intended action research especially when it comes to developing hypothesis and purpose of the study. It would also provide guidance regarding the outcomes to expect and the implications of the study results. Besides, the research can be used to perfect the study methodology of the intended action research by avoiding some of the mistakes made by the researchers in Canbeldek and Erdogan (2017).

 

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