Lorna Jimerson's research-based “The Hobbit Effect” (2006) summarized the real benefits of small and rural schools. For example, Jimerson reports that when socio-economic factors are taken into account, children in smaller schools are academically more successful, have higher graduation rates, take more advanced courses, and participate in extra-curricular activities to a higher degree. Overall, Jimerson's extensive review of research found ten "research-based reasons” why small schools work:
- There is greater participation in extra-curricular activities, and that is linked to academic success.
- Small schools are safer.
- Kids feel they belong.
- Small class size allows more individualized instruction.
- Good teaching methods are easier to implement.
- Teachers feel better about their work.
- Mixed-ability classes avoid condemning some students to low expectations.
- Multiage classrooms promote personalized learning and encourage positive social interactions.
- Smaller districts mean less bureaucracy.
- More grades in one school alleviate many problems of transitions to new schools.
December 1, 2021
March 18, 2021
Common challenges. Shared vision.