Middle School Increases Class Sizes, College Style

By Bryan Toporek — September 29, 2010 1 min read
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When you think of 100-student lectures, chances are your mind will flash back to a course you took as a freshman in college. But one middle school in Texas is looking to change that by incorporating the college-style lecture format into their curriculum, according to the Houston Chronicle.

At Thomas Middle School in south Houston, each class has an average of 75 students, with anywhere between five to nine teachers moderating the lesson. One teacher will take the “lead” role, while the others help struggling students or chime in on the side. The classes are taking place in two converted band rooms, the auditorium, and the school’s library.

“How is it that one college professor can teach a classroom of 600, but in K through 12 that can’t happen?” asked new principal Lannie Milon Jr., upon arriving at the Houston Independent School District in July.

Milon’s plan for college-style classes for met with plenty of opposition from his teachers at first, but many appear to be coming around. They have come to appreciate the flexibility the format offers. If one teacher excels at teaching fractions, for example, he or she can take over the lesson for a day, and the entire class doesn’t have to stop to handle disciplinary problems.

“In the beginning, we felt like he was invading our privacy. We’re used to having our own area. It’s gotten better and better everyday,” said teacher Tereva Wright.

H/T to Teacher Twitter follower writediteach.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.