TEACHERS’ EXPERIENCES WITH OVERCROWDED CLASSROOMS IN A BASIC SCHOOL IN GHANA
This research sought to investigate teachers’ experiences with overcrowded classrooms: the case of new Gbawe experimental 1 basic school in Ghana's Greater Accra region. The study explicitly followed a qualitative approach to research specifically a case study design. Unstructured questionnaires and Teacher observations were utilised in the process of generating the data. This investigation’s general results indicate that educators’ perceptions with overcrowded classrooms are ‘stressful’. Similarly, teachers described some situations in an overcrowded classroom which they defined as stressful. Some of the descriptions given by educators include insufficient learning environments, safety and health concerns, limited contact between pupils and educators, disruptive behaviour, emotional and mental challenges for educators, increased workload and insufficient time in the classroom. In addition, the factors contributing to traumatic experiences include lack of administrative support, lack of policy enforcement, insufficient teacher preparation and professional development and lack of teaching material for learning. Educators, however, suggested that they still had recourse to improvisation to allow them to handle overcrowded classrooms. Working on teacher best practices in overcrowded classrooms was suggested to be helpful in helping teachers who find themselves in such circumstances.
Keywords: Class size, classroom discipline, classroom management techniques, overcrowded classroom, public basic school teachers’ experiences.
Adejimi, A., Oyediran, O. S., & Ogunsanmi, E. B. (2010). Employing qualitatively enriched semi structured questionnaire in evaluating ICT impact on Nigerian ‘construction chain integration’. The Built & Human Environment Review, 3(1), 49-62.
Adeyemi, B. A. (2008). Effects of cooperative learning and problem-solving strategies on junior secondary school students’ achievement in social studies. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 6(3), 691-708.
Ahmed, A. U., & Arends-Kuenning, M. (2006). Do crowded classrooms crowd out learning? Evidence from the food for education program in Bangladesh. World Development, 34, 665–684.
Akoto-Baako, H. (2018). Perceived influence of large class size and psychological classroom environment on students’ academic performance. Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://erl.ucc.edu.gh/jspui/bitstream/123456789/3421/1/HANSEN%202018.pdf
Amarat, S. M. (2011). The classroom problems faced teachers at the public schools in Tafila province, and solutions. International Education Science, 3(1), 37-48.
Arul, A. S. L., & Vimala, A. (2012). School environment and academic achievement of standard IX students. Online Submission, 2(3), 210-215. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED542331
Asodike, J. D., & Onyeike, V. C. (2016). Managing large classes in developing countries. Global Journal of Educational Research, 15(1), 31-39. DOI:10.4314/gjedr.v15i1.4.
Burns, N., & Grove, S. K. (2010). Understanding nursing research-eBook: Building an evidence-based practice (5th ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders.
Carr, W., & Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming critical: Education, knowledge and action research. Lewes: Falmer.
Chepkonga, M. C. (2017). Influence of learning facilities on provision of quality education in early childhood development centres in Kenya. International Journal of Education and Research, 5(6), 15-26.
China L. (2018, September 13). Anger grows in China over school crowding. Retrieved September 28, 2020, from https://www.economist.com/china/2018/09/13/anger-grows-in-china-over-school-crowding
China, X. (2016, March 29). Chinese urban schools strive to 'slim' oversize classes. Retrieved September 28, 2020, from https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-03/29/content_24167862.htm
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2011). Research methods in education. (7th ed.). London: Routledge.
Cooper, H., Lindsay, J. J., & Nye, B. (2000). Homework in the home: How student, family, and parenting-style differences relate to the homework process. Contemporary educational psychology, 25(4), 464-487.
Creemers, B. (2008). Effective school improvement-Ingredients for success, organisational effectiveness and improvement in education. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Crossman, A. (2019). An overview of qualitative research methods: Direct observation, interviews, participation, immersion, focus groups. Retrieved September 28, 2020, from https://www.thoughtco.com/qualitative-research-methods-3026555.
Donnelly, K. (2019, October 16). Cram school: Two-thirds of primary school pupils stuck in overcrowded classrooms. Retrieved September 28, 2020, from https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/cram-school-two-thirds-of-primary-school-pupils-stuck-in-overcrowded-classrooms-38316566.html
Edwards, C. H., & Watts, V. J. (2010). Classroom discipline & management (2nd ed.). Milton, Qld.: John Wiley & Sons.
Emmer, T., & Stough, L. (2010). Classroom management: A critical part of educational psychology, with implications for teacher education. Educational Psychologist, 36(2), 103-112.
Farrokhi, F., & Mahmoudi-Hamidabad, A. (2012). Re-thinking convenience sampling: Defining quality criteria. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(4), 784-792.
Fatima, Z. U. A., Mushatq, M., & Fatima, Q. U. A. (2019). Overcrowded classroom problems faced by school teachers in district Muzzafarabad. International Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Development, 8(4), 328–339.
Fife Schwa, T. (2001). There are many steps in carrying out successful research. The Journal of Educational Research, 2(4), 113-125.
Fin, J. D. (2003). Tennessee’s class size study: Findings, implications, misconceptions. Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 21(2), 97-109.
Finn, M., Walton, M., & Elliott-White, M. (2000). Tourism and leisure research methods: Data collection, analysis, and interpretation. New York City: Pearson education.
Freiberg, H. J. (2013). Classroom management and student achievement. International Guide to Student Achievement, 228-230.
Ghana Education Service (GES) (2014). Basic education curriculum. Retrieved 09 April 2020 from https://web.archive.org/web/20140525195225/http://www.ges.gov.gh/?q=content%2Fbasic-education-curriculum-1.
Hachem, H., & Mayor, P. (2019, October 04). Overcrowding in schools: Why is it a huge Issue? Retrieved September 28, 2020, from https://patch.com/michigan/dearborn/overcrowding-schools-why-it-huge-issue.
Harfitt, G. J., & Tsui, A. B. (2015). An examination of class size reduction on teaching and learning processes: A theoretical perspective. British Educational Research Journal, 41(5), 845-865.
Iqbal, P., & Khan, M. (2012). Overcrowded classrooms: A serious problem for teachers. Elixir International Journal, 2(5), 10162-10165.
Kedney, R. J. (2013). Performance measurement in non-advanced further education: The use of statistics. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Lancaster, United Kingdom.
Kothari, C. R. (2004). Research methodology: Methods & techniques. New Dehli: New Age International (P) Limited Publishers.
Kriegel, O. (n.d.). 3 tips on how to manage an overcrowded classroom. Retrieved April 02, 2021, from https://www.wgu.edu/heyteach/article/3-tips-how-manage-overcrowded-classroom1809.html
Kweitsu, R. (2019). Ghana’s education sector: Key challenges hindering the effective delivery of education and the way forward. Retrieved June, 11, 2020, from https://www.modernghana.com/news/579629/ghanas-education-sector-key-challenges-hindering.html
Lannoy, A., & Hall, K. (2010). Statistics on children in South Africa. Cape Town: Cape Town University Press.
Lee, E., & Brennenstuhl, S. (2010). How to critically evaluate case studies in social work. London: SAGE Publications.
Marais, P. (2016). “We can’t believe what we see”: Overcrowded classrooms through the eyes of student teachers. South African Journal of Education, 36(2), 1-10.
Marzano, R. J., & Marzano, J. S. (2003). The key to classroom management. Educational Leadership, 61(1), 6-13.
Ministry of Education (MOE), Ghana (2018). Education sector analysis. Retrieved on April 09, 2020 from https://sapghana.com/data/documents/Ghana-Education-Sector-Analysis-2018.pdf.
Moreno, V., Cavazotte, F., & Dutra, J. P. (2020). Psychosocial and organisational antecedents of knowledge sharing in the workplace. Revista de Administração Contemporânea, 24(4), 283-299A.
Mutisya, M. (2020, February 24). Some Kenyan schools are dangerously overcrowded. What must be done? Retrieved September 01, 2020, from https://theconversation.com/some-kenyan-schools-are-dangerously-overcrowded-what-must-be-done-131774.
Muthusamy, N. (2015). Teachers’ experiences with overcrowded classrooms in a mainstream school. (Unpublished M.Ed. dissertation). Durban, South Africa: University of KwaZulu-Natal. Available at https://researchspace.ukzn.ac.za/bitstream/handle/1
Neale, P., Thapa, S., & Boyce, C. (2006). Preparing a case study: A guide for designing and conducting a case study for evaluation input. London: Routledge.
O’Sullivan, M. C. (2006). Teaching large classes: The international evidence and a discussion of some good practice in Ugandan primary schools. International Journal of Educational Development, 26(1), 24-37.
Oliver, R. (2006). Exploring a technology-facilitated solution to cater for advanced students in large undergraduate classes. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 22(1), 1-12.
Onwu, G., & Stoffels, N. (2005). Challenges of large class teaching. Journal of South African Education, 12(10), 14-26.
Palys, T. (2008). Purposive sampling. London: Routledge.
Punch, F. K. (2009). Introduction to research methods in education. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
Saifi, I. L., Hussain, M., Salamat, L., & Bakht, I. (2018). Impact of classroom management on students achievement at university level. Asian Innovative Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2(2), 13-27.
Shah, J., & Inamullah, H. M. (2012). Overcrowded classrooms: A serious problem for teachers. The Journal of Educational Strategies, 5(1), 772-789.
Shamaki, T. A. (2015). Influence of learning environment on students’ academic achievement in mathematics: A case study of some selected secondary schools in Yobe State-Nigeria. Journal of Education and Practice, 6(34), 40-44.
Simpson, M., & Tuson, J. (2005). Using observation in small-scale research. Glasgow: SCRE Publications.
Siperto, J. (2017). Secondary school teachers experience in managing large classes: The case of secondary schools in Buchosa district council Mwanza. http://repository.out.ac.tz/1915/1/Dissertation%20%20BENJAMIN%20SIPERTO%20%20Final.pdf
Smith, M. K. (2020). What is education? A definition and discussion. The encyclopaedia of pedagogy and informal education. Retrieved on April 07, 2020, from https://infed.org/mobi/what-is-education-a-definition-and-discussion/.
Stepaniuk, V. I. (1997). The use of classroom space in urban schools: The case of Ukraine. The Economics of Education in the USSR (ed) and Translated by Harold J Noah, New York: Frederick A Praeger Publishers.
Thompson, N. M., & Casely-Hayford, L. (2014). The financing and outcomes of education in Ghana. The University of Cambridge. pp. 9–14. Retrieved June 13, 2020, from http://ceid.educ.cam.ac.uk/publications/WP16.pdf
UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2008). Education for all: Global monitoring report 2008. Paris: UNESCO.
UNESCO Institute for Statistics. (2018). Ghana: Making inclusive education a reality. http://www.iiep.unesco.org/en/ghana-making-inclusive-education-reality-4564
UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2020). Ghana: Student teacher ratio, primary school. Retrieved 21 March 2020 from http://uis.unesco.org/
Van Velzen W., Miles, M., Elholm, M., Hameyer, U., & Robin, D. (1985). Making school improvement work. Leuven: Belgium ACCO.
West, J., & Meler, C. (2020). Overcrowded classrooms – The Achilles heel of South African education? South African Journal of Childhood Education 10(1). DOI:10.4102/sajce.v10i1.617
Wilkinson, D., & Birmingham, P. (2003). Using research instruments. London: Routledge.
World Bank (2013). Ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education (%). Retrieved March 21, 2020, Available online: www.worldbank.org
Yelkpieri, D., Namale, M., Esia-Dankoh, K., & Ofosu-Dwamena, E. (2012). Effects of large class size on effective teaching and learning at the Winneba campus of the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. US-China Education review A. 3, 319-332.
Copyright (c) 2021 International Online Journal of Primary Education (IOJPE)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright and permissions
The manuscripts submitted to International Online Journal of Primary Education (IOJPE) for publication should be original studies that were not published before or not submitted to anywhere else for publication.
Authors who submit their manuscript to International Online Journal of Primary Education (IOJPE) should acknowledge that they agree to transfer the copyright of their studies to IOJPE. All Open Access articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited.
All articles published in International Online Journal of Primary Education (IOJPE) are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
Any further distribution or use of content published under CC BY 4.0 must contain the author(s) and the published article’s title, and journal citation. All articles published in IOJPE under a CC BY License may be used for Text and Data Mining purposes, subject to the conditions of the CC BY License terms. The license allows for commercial use. IOJPE allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator.
The journal’s objective is to disseminate articles published are free. Under the Creative Commons license (CC BY 4.00), the journal allows the user to permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, and even use the publication for commercial activities, provided that the original work is properly cited.
Open access is an approach that eases the interdisciplinary communication and encourages cooperation among different disciplines. IOJPE, therefore, contributes to its own field by providing more access to its articles and a more transparent review process.