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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 31, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Class sizes: What counts in education

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” The endless search for research proving what best supports children’s learning will never result in proof enough to justify the cost [“Does class size matter? Research reveals surprises,” Local News, Oct. 28].

Sadly, our culture is seduced into thinking things like learning can be reduced to numbers and statistics. What cannot be counted is the delight of discovery in a child’s eyes. The moment when a child interacting with a teacher decides that reading is a marvelous thing.

What has been well-researched is that the most important factor in successful “helping” settings such as teaching, counseling, coaching and so on is the quality of relationship between the helper and the one being helped: the teacher and the student.

The capacity of a teacher to build that kind of relationship with 26 children is much less than with 10 students or even 20 students. Don’t believe me? Walk around classrooms and see what is really happening on the ground. Look for shining eyes.

Sam Magill, Edmonds

Comments | More in Education, Election | Topics: Class size, education, Initiative 1351

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