5 Benefits of Small Group Learning
Over recent years, a continuing theme in education is the overcrowding of schools. From reports of 100,000 pupils being put into overcrowded state schools in 2010, to sports halls being converted into classrooms in 2014 to yesterday’s news of a Notting Hill primary school with a 92m catchment area, one thing is for sure – modern education can get crowded and competitive. So – is there any benefit to small group learning and does class size effect children’s performance in school?
One thing we really value at Genie Tutors is the ability to take children out of that stressful, crowded environment and into a smaller and relaxed setting to enhance your child’s ability to learn. Below are just five benefits to learning in smaller groups.
1. Flexible Learning
One advantage of small group learning is that time can more flexibly be allocated to where it is needed. If one or two children are struggling with a concept, then it is likely worth the entire group working a bit harder on said topic, or failing that, it can be easier to monitor the rest of the students whilst taking one student to the side for individual attention.
2. Inspiring Confidence
Often when pupils don’t participate in large group discussions, it can be an issue of self belief, rather than the assumed laziness. However, in smaller groups, the informal atmosphere can often allow tutors to bring all students into the conversation, giving them the encouragement they need to participate. Furthermore, for those in single gender or faith schools, tutoring can also be an important factor in increasing social skills with people of other backgrounds.
3. More Opportunities for Feedback
All too often at schools, feedback for students can be limited to marked work and annual parents’ evenings. In smaller groups, feedback on work can go well beyond an A* to F grade, or a score out of 10. Furthermore, in the more informal and relaxed environment, students are more likely to receive instant feedback on their ideas as they are contributing more to discussions, which is hard to replicate on a larger scale.
4. People can be Patient
Lesson plans in modern teaching can often feature an airtight schedule. In the world of 30 child classrooms and constant testing, if one child needs a bit of extra attention on a particular topic, this can often slip through the cracks. This is not the fault of teachers, but merely a reality of the current education system. However, in small group settings, tutors and teachers are much more likely to be able to deviate from a less rigid plan and allow kids to develop at their own pace.
5. Small Groups can Build Team Working Skills.
The more intimate environment of a small learning group is also great for building teamwork skills. Whilst students may sink into the background or get distracted in large settings, a small, tight knit team working towards the same problem or project places a child in a situation where they have to be socially active, bringing both educational and social progress forward at the same time.