Library of Research on Small Schools
There is an ever- growing body of research on small schools where the quality of education, student development, and community health are concerned. This research is compiled and furthered by academics, parents, community organizers, school boards, reporters, activists, and school developers on the front lines of the small schools movement. On this page, you can read through our extensive library of research on small schools. Whatever your issue, we think you’ll find research, data, and perspectives to help you out.
The small schools movement is growing. We are always adding relevant material to this library including documents, articles and other types of multimedia to this section…. so be sure to check back regularly for more information.
Cost is mission critical to our work as smalls schools advocates. You can read through our extensive library of financial, social and community cost-based research on small schools on our Small Schools Costs page.
We are always on the lookout for new data. If you have any leads to interesting, informative articles and documents we can add to our growing collection of research on small schools, please get in touch with us directly.
Small School Movement: Victories (and Challenges) Around the World
Some of the most valuable research on the small school movement comes from firsthand accounts of educational reformers operating under “real world” conditions. Over the past several decades, the small school movement has celebrated many victories and, at the same time, weathered many challenges. Some of these victories and challenges have to do with schools themselves, while others have to do with outside factors and influences, for instance, at district, state, or federal levels. You can learn more about small school movement victories and challenges around the world by reading through our extensive compilation of research below.
Sample some of the research in our library, below. If you have any questions about the small school movement worldwide, we welcome you to contact us directly.
Small School Movement Victory and Challenges Articles
- The Education Revolution: Q & A With Dr. Stuart Grauer
- Chicago’s Renaissance 2010: The Small Schools Movement Meets The Ownership Society
- Do Small Schools Undermine Diversity?: New York’s Tiny High Schools Lift Kids, Harden Segregation
- AFNORTH, Brussels to Merge Football Squads
- Burnsall, Cracoe, Grassington and Kettlewell schools agree ‘formal pact’ to work together
- China’s Small Schools Go Digital
- Opposition to School Closures Impressive Fight: Professor
- Oakland Must Again Commit to Creating Small Schools
- Small High Schools Post Big Gains: 5 Questions with Gordon Berlin
- Why Are Finland’s Schools So Successful?
- The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools
- Parent and Family involvement in Education, from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2016
- Small Classes, Small Schools: The Time is Now
- Small High Schools on a Larger Scale: The Impact of School Conversions in Chicago
- The Sustainability of Small Schools
School Size Research: How Big is a Small School?
Nothing damages our efforts to promote small, place-based schools much more than researchers or communities that label schools “small” when they lack the size and design features of actual small schools.
Over the past several decades, the growing body of school size research demonstrates that small schools have big impacts on educators, administrators, students and their families. School size research also threshes out the many differences between small schools and large ones. This includes a thorough examination of the differences between small and large school size, learning environments/culture, administrative policies, bureaucratic hierarchies, academic achievement and student efficacy. You can read through our school size research archives below. If you have any questions about school size research, we welcome you to contact us directly.
School Size Research Articles
- What does the Research say About District Consolidation?
- School Size: Research Based Conclusions
- The Power of 12
- Think China’s Crowded? Check out its Primary Schools
- You’ve Got to Have 150 Friends
- Breaking Up Large High Schools
- Building a Districtwide Small Schools Movement
- Consolidation of Schools and Districts: What the Research Says and What it Means
- Size Matters: The Difference Between Big and Small Schools
- Implementation Study of Smaller Learning Communities
- Jack and the Giant School
- School Size and its Relationship to Student Achievement and Behavior
- Small Scale and School Culture: The Experience of Private Schools
- Small School Initiatives Survey
- The “Why’s” of Class Size: Student Behavior in Small Classes
- Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization
Benefits of the Small Schools
The growing body of research demonstrates many benefits of the small schools. Benefits of the small schools are wide ranging and include authentic relationships, social inclusion, outstanding learning opportunities, excellent college placement rates, community identity/engagement, as well as increased safety and comfort for students, faculty and community. In addition to student benefits in academics and socio-emotional development, parents, teachers and communities also benefit substantially.
The body of research dealing specifically with school safety can be found on our Small School Costs page. Unfortunately and sometimes tragically, safety is left almost entirely out of funding formulas as districts attempt to save money by consolidating schools. In an era or routine school shootings, there are virtually no instances of tragic school violence in true small schools.
You can learn more about the benefits of the small schools by reading through the articles below. If you have any questions about the benefits of the small schools, we welcome you to contact us directly.
Small School Benefits Articles
- Forget Football and Prom – What Big High Schools Get Wrong
- Can We Believe in Risky Business?
- Education in the Real World
- From Students, Less Kindness For Strangers
- An Interview with Zoe Weil
- Study Shows Why Cliques Thrive in Some Schools More Than Others
- Big Picture on Small Schools
- Frequently Asked Questions About MDRC’s Study of Small Public High Schools in New York City
- New Small Learning Communities: Findings from Recent Literature
- Small Schools: The Numbers Tell a Story
- What’s So Big about Small Schools? The Case for Small Schools: Nationwide and in North Dakota
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap …and Others Don’t
Benefits of Community Schools: Small Schools are a Community’s Heart
Nowhere are the benefits of community schools more apparent than in small, rural towns that rely on community schooling to instill a sense of shared identity. Over the past several decades, the consolidation of schools has affected the benefits of community schools as much, if not more so, than any other factor. This includes the issue of long-haul student bussing, which you can research about in-depth by visiting our Small School Costs page.
You can learn more about the benefits of community schools by reading through the articles below. If you have any questions about the benefits of small schools, we welcome you to contact us directly.
Community Schools Articles
- NPR Neighborhood Schools Article
- How Closing Schools Hurts Neighborhoods
- What we lose when neighborhood schools close
- Oaktown Oaks thrived for decades: Small schools kept community alive
- Don’t force school closures
- Rural Schools Provide Benefits to Students. Communities
- Imagining Rural Life: Schooling as a Sense of Place
- Local Government Commission Recommends “Neighborhood-Based Schools”
- The Rural School and Community Trust
More Research on Small Schools Cost
In addition to the exhaustive amount of research on small schools presented here, we have also compiled an extensive body of data specifically dealing with the cost of small schools. This “cost” is presented in financial, social, community and student enrichment contexts. We welcome you to read through our research on small schools cost here. If you have any questions about research on small schools, we welcome you to contact us.