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In Ontario, Education Minister Lisa Thompson recently announced she will be consulting with education partners on the possibility of removing hard caps on class sizes.
Kindergarten classes are capped at 29 and grades 1, 2 and 3 have a cap of 23 students.
Caps - Children - Class
Regular caps could sometimes be higher due to children moving in and out of a class.
There are many particular reasons why both teachers and students won't do as well with larger class sizes. For example, more children means less time for teachers to attend to the diverse needs of their students.
Childhood - Professionals - Class - Sizes - Numbers
But as early childhood professionals, we wish to point out what perhaps might seem obvious, yet somehow seems overlooked —increasing class sizes above these current numbers will have a detrimental effect on the relationships built between teachers and children, thus affecting children's learning and development.
Let's talk about why secure relationships between teachers and young children matter.
Humans - Ability - Desire - Babies - Others
Humans are born with the ability and desire to connect, to learn and to grow. Babies begin to interact with others and the world in utero. They recognize their mother's voice, and may even play, pushing their feet, receiving tactile feedback from their mother pushing back.
Babies are active participants in relationships as they instinctively make meaning and learn through observation of people and their environment.
Month - Babies - Need - Connection - Desire
As young as one month, babies begin to imitate faces. This need for connection and the desire to know and learn doesn't end at infancy.
The young child's brain continues developing during formative young years. There is a wealth of research demonstrating that children learn best in environments that don't focus solely on cognitive development. Rather, rich learning environments for children should also foster social-emotional development.
Healthy - Development - Childhood - Relationships - Children
Healthy development in childhood requires secure relationships between children and teachers—relationships that are positive, caring and respectful.
Secure relationships are formed when teachers attend to the...
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