Investigating the class size effect in junior high schools through students' Basic Competence Test scores

Yao Ting Sung*, Jia Min Chiou, Hsin Yi Liu, Fen Lan Tseng, Po Hsi Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of class size on teaching progress and learning performance has been one of the most important research topics in the domains of educational policies and instructional research. However, in Taiwan, only limited numbers of empirical studies were conducted to investigate the relationship between class size and learning achievement. There are three objectives of this study. The first one is to investigate the effects of junior high school class size on students learning achievement in Taiwan. Secondly, if class size might influence students learning, this study aims to seek whether or not school characteristics (public or private) will intervene the effects. Finally, if class size might influence students learning, this research would also like to examine whether or not the degree of urbanization of schools will intervene the effects. The subjects of this study were 273,418 junior high schools graduates who participated in the Basic Competence Test in 2005. The Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) was adopted to investigate the effects of class sizes, school characteristics, and school urbanization degree on students Basic Competence Test scores. The results show thatstudents in large classes had significantly higher scores than those in small classes. This phenomenon is more evident when the students study in public schools. Furthermore, the phenomenon is also more evident when schools are located in low urbanized districts. These findings differ from the results of previous studies conducted in western countries. Not only the findings can complement the references of related research fields, it will also provide an alternative thinking for scholars and policy makers to design curriculum for different class sizes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-83
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Research in Education Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jun


  • Basic Competence Test
  • Class size effect
  • Urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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