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.
Articles and Research
- Breaking Up Large High Schools: Five Common (and Understandable) Errors of Execution. ERIC Digest, 2001.
- Size Matters: The Difference Between Big and Small Schools. Education.com, 2010.
- Small Scale and School Culture: The Experience of Private Schools. ERIC Digest, 1994.
- Jack and the Giant School: Lessons in Community Control. Mitchell, Stacy. Institute for Local Self-Reliance, 2000.
- The Power of Twelve. Grauer, Stuart. Independent School Magazine, 2014.
- The “Why’s” of Class Size: Student Behavior in Small Classes. Finn, J., Pannozzo, G., & Achilles, C. American Educational Research Association, 2003.
- Building a Districtwide Small Schools Movement. Shah, S., Mediratta, K., & McAlister, S. Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, 2009.
- Tribal Leadership. Logan, D., King, J., & Fischer-Wright, H. Harper Collins, 2008.
- Consolidation of Schools and Districts: What the Research Says and What it Means. Howley, C., Johnson, J., & Petrie, J. National Education Policy Center, 2011.
- Is There A Limit To How Many Friends We Can Have? Dunbar, Robin. TED Radio Hour, 2017.
- The Relationship Between School Size and Student Outcomes. North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2011.
- Small School Initiatives Survey. Baenen, Nancy. 2004.
- School Size: Research Based Conclusions. The Rural School and Community Trust, 2003.
- Implementation Study of Smaller Learning Communities. U.S. Department of Education, 2008.