Education

Large and Comprehensive vs. Small and Personal

By Kevin Bushweller — April 11, 2007 1 min read

With my 8th grade son about to attend a large comprehensive high school in Northern Virginia next year, I’ll be keeping a close eye on him to see what impact the size of the school has on his motivation. Much has been written about how kids can get lost in the anonymity of such places and not feel connected to their schools. That, in turn, undoubtedly has a negative effect on motivation.

On my drive to work this morning, I listened to a story on NPR, “Troubled Schools Turn Around By Shrinking,” which examines efforts in Baltimore to create smaller, more personalized high schools.

It will be interesting to compare and contrast the impact of Baltimore’s efforts to make schools smaller with the experiences of my son and his friends as they head off to experience the world of large, comprehensive high schools.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.