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Classroom Discipline Matters

A study from Japan and Macau found that classroom discipline and the quality of teachers have a greater impact on student success than class size. In some cases, smaller classes didn't necessarily improve resilience, while larger classes in Japan even had a negative effect. Interestingly, a slight increase in class size in Japan increased the odds of disadvantaged students achieving the best grades.

Furthermore, the study emphasizes the detrimental effect of misbehavior in the classroom on student resilience. According to the study's authors, It is crucial for teachers to guide students in adhering to rules, maintaining discipline, and tailoring lessons to meet students' needs.

While these findings are insightful, it's important to note that the study was conducted in Asia, and the implications for Western countries may differ. Additionally, the study drew from the 2015 Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA), an international questionnaire-based survey, so the impact of these factors post-pandemic remains uncertain.

Nevertheless, the study is a reminder that, while we do not want to unfairly punish students with behavioral disorders, we also need to maintain rules in order to protect the other students in a classroom.

As for the impact of class size, smaller classes either had no impact on resilience such as in Macau or had a negative effect as in Japan. Conversely, an increase in class size by just one rank raised the odds of disadvantaged pupils in Japan attaining the best rather than the lowest grades by 1.2 times. Other findings from the study show that misbehavior in the classroom or school in general undermines resilience. The messages from the study for teachers include the need to guide pupils to conform to rules, to maintain discipline and prepare lessons in line with the needs of students.


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