Classes too big, or unruly?

Lack of behavioural discipline is students needs to be discussed, says letter writer.

To the Editor,

Re: Factory model fading for schools (B.C. Views, Sept. 10).

With respect to class size, one thing that is never discussed is the lack of behavioural discipline of the students.

Some years ago I had a job as a teaching assistant in the federal prison system, where I noticed that many prisoners were stuck at the grade five level. That led me to take the social service program at a secondary institution to become a teaching assistant in the public school and help the “slower” students overcome learning difficulties.

While doing my practicum in a school, I was appalled at the chaos in the classroom. While the teacher was busy at the green board explaining a lesson, several students walked about having conversations with other classmates, while others walked over to the window looking at the playground.

Juxtapose that to my experience in public school where we didn’t dare chat, never mind wandering about. Also, the wife of a former governor of Washington State took a group of teachers to China a few years ago and observed the discipline of the children there. The average class size was about 50 students. All of the students were at their desks focused on the teacher.

If students in a classroom were studying online with only a monitor walking around, the matter of discipline would not be an issue. You could have many students in a classroom, each student progressing at his or her own speed and then have periodic tests as is done through distance education.

Ted Grigoleit,

Burnaby