This is just a quick note to share a link (which itself was shared with me by Erica Speaks) that connects two of my passions: data visualization and class size effects. The author of Conceptual Mathematics–who doesn’t reveal much about him/herself but appears to be a math teacher–writes an interesting blog using simple graphs to convey complex ideas about the social issues and education reforms. It’s not a particularly aesthetically appealing site–it resembles a Geocities site from 2002–but its exactly that simplicity that carries the message so clearly.
In “Effects of Class Size on Learning“, the author uses simple mathematical calculations and 8-bit graphics to illustrate some very important points. Here’s my favorite:
I think what I like best is that there is no way to argue against the simple mathematical truth that he is demonstrating: more students in a class means less instructional time and effort per student.
How can we make this idea more obvious to the Powers That Be?