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ing With such examples as can be titude expressed at the opening of this
drawn from the experience of the ele- paper, that analysis of high-school
mentary schools and such as are now at teaching and its results is one of the next
hand of suggestive studies of high-school most important steps to be taken in edu-
results, it is certainly not premature to

cation.
advocate a general adoption of the at-

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1

What processes are involved in writing a satisfactory examination paper ?

What is the function of the question in the examining process ?

What should be the relation of the type of examination given to the teaching processes involved in the course of instruction ?

Is it true that the preparation for examinations requires effort under pressure that often gives new perceptions of the relations of subject-matter?

Are examinations particularly desirable, in that they give pupils training in expressing thought in writing acceptably under pressure?

Is the ability to stand examinations a valuable thing in itself? Should educational experts define objectives of a practical nature in this connection and specify the particular kinds of examinations

that train best for the attainment of given objectives?

What distinctions should be made with reference to the educational functions of examinations and the mere testing functions?

What value have examinations as a means to the teacher of estimating the success or shortcomings of his own work?

If the final rating of the pupil's work were based upon class standing and occasional brief tests, what specific values would justify final examinations of a comprehensive character?

To what extent should examinations be used as instruments of control in educational supervision and administration?

What correlation is desirable between examinations and text-books?

What factors are prominent in determining the results of an examination in composition? In literature?

*The Examiner's Catechism, from the English Journal, 1919-1920.

HOMER W. ANDERSON

Department of Educational Research

HIS article is a report on the size of There is, on the other hand, a difference TH

high-school classes in Detroit. An at- of three pupils in the third quartiles, tempt is made to show, in general, the leading one to believe that the classes

were uniformly smaller in three schools size of classes, and, finally, to present

(F, G and H). tentative standards which may be used

Table 1-Median and Quartile High School by the principals for their guidance in the

Classes by Schools organization of classes at the opening of

Second Semester, 1920 the semester. This article does not aim

No. of

First Third to say what number of pupils should be

Schools Classes handled in a given class. Whatever con

Median Quartile Quartile clusions have been drawn have been based A 7135 24

18

27 mainly on conditions actually found to B 7098 23

18 27 С 4166 23

18 27 exist in the local schools.

D 10203 23

18 27 The data for this study were secured

E 8869 23 18 26 from the teachers' reports submitted to F 12902 22

18

25 the office of the superintendent. These G

5023 21

17

25 H 6679 21

17 24 reports gave the attendance for one week of each month in every class which met Total 62075 23

18

26 during the week. The data were tabulated and the median classes were deter- SIZE OF CLASSES BY DEPARTMENTS mined for each month in every subject The median and quartile classes are and school.

shown for each department in Table II.

This table is read in the same way as SIZE OF CLASSES BY SCHOOLS

Table I.:
Table I shows the median and quartile
sizes of classes for the semester.

The
Table 11-Median and Quartile High-School

Classes by Departments table is clear if read as follows:

Second Semester, 1920 In School A the median number of pupils in attendance was 24, that is, one-half of the classes

No. of

First Third had 24 or fewer, and one-half had 24 or more

Subject Classes Median Quartile Quartile pupils in attendance; the first quartile shows that in 25 per cent of the classes the attendance was 18 Physical Educ. 3126 30 16 40 pupils or fewer; the third quartile shows that 25 English

12608 25 21 27 per cent of the classes had 27 or more pupils. The Mathematics 9814 24 20 26 rest of the table is read in the same way.

Social Science 7296 23 19 The median classes varied from 21

Commercial 5237

18 28 Science

4374 21 17 24 pupils in Schools G and H to 24 in School

Technical

3895 21 15 24 A. In the city the median was 23 pupils. For. Languages 9030 21 16 24 The first quartiles are remarkably uni- Household Arts 2504 19 15 22 form, indicating that the proportion of Art

1925 16 9 21 Music 2266 15

7 24 small classes is about equal in all schools.

City
62075 23 18

26 *Copyright, 1920, by Homer W. Anderson.

26

23

TO SIZE

Quite naturally, the classes in physical same wide distribution, with usually a education are the largest. Even in this heavier piling up of the smaller classes, group 25 per cent contain 16 or fewer

occurs in all departments. It would seem pupils. This is explained in part by the that one of the constructive problems in large number of corrective classes in a

secondary-school administration would few of the schools. Next in order of size

be to cut off all of the classes having are the English classes with a median of

fewer than 10 pupils, and probably many 25 pupils, first quartile of 21, and third

of those with 10 to 14 pupils in atquartile of 27 pupils. The classes in art

tendance. The saving accomplished by and music are smallest. A striking fact is that fewer than 10 pupils were in at

this act would be of no small consetendance in 25 per cent of these classes.

quence. The great differences existing

in the size of classes suggest that there DISTRIBUTION OF CLASSES ACCORDING is a need for standards to be used as

guides for distributing classes at the The wide distribution of classes as to opening of the semester. size was one of the most surprising facts

TENTATIVE STANDARDS FOR DISTRIBUTION revealed. It was found that in the physical education department 14 per cent of

The proportion of classes starting out the classes had an attendance of fewer

with fewer than 27 pupils belonging, inthan 10 pupils, 10 per cent an attendance

creased from 58 per cent in February to of 10 to 14 pupils, and on the other end of the distribution 35 per cent had 40 or

71 per cent in June. On the other hand, These facts are shown in Table the classes having 27 or more pupils beIII.

longing, decreased from 42 to 29 per cent. In English, one class out of every 100 This means a 13 per cent shift from the had fewer than 10 pupils, five had fewer group of larger classes to the one with than 15, and eleven had 30 and over. The the smaller. Diagram I shows graphic

OF CLASSES

more.

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at the time of organization, can probably not be defended when we know that nearly two-fifths will fall into this group by the end of the semester.

A tentative standard for the distribution of the total number of classes at the opening of the semester may be found to be of service to high-school administrators. It should be understood that these standards are not final, but that after fair trial and experiment they may have to be changed. Table IV and the shaded portion of Diagram I show the proposed distribution of classes.

31 FEBRUARY

29

27

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LESS THAN22 22-26 27-32 33-OVER

PUPILS BELONGING

Diagram 1-Showing Percentage Distribution of Classes According to Number Belonging in February, June, and Tentative

Standards

The diagram should be read as follows: In February (dotted curve) 31 per cent of the classes had fewer than 22 pupils belonging, while in June (solid curve) 39 per cent fell in this group. Reading the rest of the diagram in the same way, it is seen that the 27 per cent in the group with 22 to 26 pupils had increased to 32 per cent. The next group, 27 to 32 belonging, had decreased from 29 to 20 per cent, and the fourth group from 13 to 9 per cent.

It would seem that this tendency to shift from higher to lower groups should be taken very strongly into consideration when organizing classes at the opening of the semester. It stands without argument that a proportion of the classes will have fewer than 22 belonging, but that nearly a third of the classes should consciously be placed in this group

It should be remembered that 22 belonging means approximately 20 in attendance. This is based on the attendance during the second semester 1919-20, when it was found to be approximately 92 per cent of the number belonging. In the use of the above tentative standard no inflexible interpretation as to its application should be made. It is probable that no high school in the city of Detroit can be organized on identically these lines. On the other hand, probably every school can be organized on less than a five per cent variation. For instance, two principals may find that the distributions in Table V meet the conditions in their respective schools.

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10

1 2 3 4

Less than 22
22-26
27-32
33 and over

40
30
20

20 30 30 20

They

TENTATIVE DISTRIBUTION BY

If high schools in the city of Detroit DEPARTMENTS

had been organized along the above lines The shift of classes from the larger in February, 1920, the total number of groups to the smaller took place in prac- classes would have been arranged actically all departments. Table III shows cording to the tentative standards prothat a large proportion of the classes have a very small average attendance. posed in Diagram I and Table IV. The The distribution of classes proposed for dotted curve in Diagram I shows the acthe whole school could not be used in

tual arrangement of classes at that time. the different departments.

Tentative

It is not expected that all schools folcurves of distribution for each depart- lowing the suggestions in Table VI

would come out with the per cents 15, ment are recommended for trial.

. An individual school cannot be taken as the final word in the 35, 35, and 15. distribution of classes, but ought to have

would probably vary somewhat from some value as guides until better ones

these figures. To illustrate this point, have been determined. The basis for

the classes at one of the high schools the distribution is present practice, with

were distributed on the basis suggested some modifications to decrease the ex

in Table VI. Diagram II shows the comtreme variabilities in the size of classes. parison of the result of this organizaTable VI presents the per cent of classes

tion in this school, and the tentative in the different departments, which should standard. The diagram shows that had be placed in each size group.

the school been organized on this basis, the curve would have been almost identi

cal with the standard. Table VI-Proposed Distribution of Classes in the Different Departments According to Size

36

36 35

35

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In English, 10 per cent of the classes would have fewer than 22 belonging, 40 per cent from 22 to 26 belonging, 40 per cent from 27 to 32 belonging, and 10 per cent 33 and over. The remainder of the table is read in the same way.

LESS THAN 22

33-OVER

22-26 27-32 PUPILS BELONGING

Diagram 11-Distribution of Classes in One School Following Suggested Departmental Standards, Compared with Suggested School

Standards

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