Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


Dr. Usenime Akpanudo


The effects of class size on student outcomes has been widely studied at the elementary level. Many such studies have found important relationships between class size and outcome in the areas of academic achievement, student discipline, and teacher retention. However, little attention has been given to the examination of how class size may affect student outcomes in the middle school and high school levels. The purpose of this nonexperimental study was to examine the effects of class size setting, gender, socioeconomic status, and school configuration on the Algebra I achievement of ninthgrade students. Participants were drawn from four rural schools in Arkansas using a twostaged sampling technique. In all, a total of 288 students were included in the study. Existing data from the Arkansas End of Course Exam for Algebra I was the primary instrument used in this study while data analysis involved three 2 x 2 factorial analyses of variance (ANOVAs) with a Bonferroni adjustment.

Results of the study revealed that class size setting had a minimal, but unimportant, effect on ninth-grade students’ Algebra I achievement. A slightly more important effect of socioeconomic status on Algebra I achievement was also revealed. However, neither gender nor school configuration were shown to significantly impact students’ Algebra I outcomes. These findings suggest that the positive effects of class size widely documented at the elementary level may not necessarily carry over to the secondary grades. The findings also highlight the importance of socioeconomic status as a factor influencing student outcomes. Yet another important implication of this study is the introduction of the concept of class size setting as the more precise construction of class size at the secondary school level.

Creative Commons License

All Rights Reserved

Copyright held by