Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Students Affirm Benefits of Small Classes, Low Teacher-Student Ratio

What contributes most to the quality of education received by students attending MIT International School? High-achieving students were unanimous in citing two factors, small classes and the low teacher-student ratio. 

At MITIS, there are not more than 10 pupils in each class in kindergarten and the primary grades and not more than 18 students per class in the upper grades. The teacher-student ratio has stood at 1:6. 

Grade 10 students Timothy Aurin and Renzo Ibanez recalled their school experiences that equipped them with skills useful in college and beyond. 

According to Aurin, the small class size suited his personal learning style. When he began studying at MITIS, he was a shy student, but the family atmosphere helped him to become more social and to care for others. Aurin has qualified for admission at the University of the Philippines for the electrical engineering course and at De La Salle University, Manila for chemical engineering. 

Ibanez considered himself empowered by a MITIS' personalized education. Taking to heart an adage--Never stop learning--that he learned in class, Ibanez will pursue his interest in architecture. 

While Aurin and Ibanez are set to go the university of their choice after Grade 10, their classmates Mika Shieffelbein and Lissah Yabra have decided to complete Grade 12 at MITIS and then pursue their university education in Australia and the United States, respectively. 

Grade 10 students may qualify for high school graduation for completion of requirements prescribed by the Department of Education. They may also opt to complete Grades 11 and 12 as in the case of Mika and Lissah. 

Mika who comes from New Zealand treasures her friendship with teachers and classmates. Lissah, from Papua New Guinea, is also having a great experience. Because of the small class size and the low teacher-student ratio, "Teachers can focus more on students' needs [and] easily interact with them," said Lisa. 

Education researchers believe that class size reduction helps students achieve because there is a greater opportunity for individual interaction between student and teacher in a small class. Teachers generally have better morale in a small class, too, and are less likely to feel overwhelmed by having a variety of students with different backgrounds and achievement levels. As a result, they are more likely to provide a supportive environment 

Research also shows that smaller schools are associated with a host of other benefits for high school students: they are less likely to drop out or be expelled; they have better attendance; they're more likely to be involved in extracurricular activities; and they're more likely to pursue higher education.

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