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Volume 34, Issue 4 (2005)

Commentary: What You See Is What You Get: A Commentary on School-Based Direct Observation Systems

pp. 529—536

Almost half a century ago, Roger Barker(Barker & Gump, 1964) violated conventional wisdom, and stunned many local schoolboards, with his seminal work suggesting that public school students who attend “small”schools fare much better than those in “big”schools. Reported benefits were found across numerous academic and extracurricular outcomes.Indeed, the data indicated that students from small schools evinced greater academic achievement, more positive attitudes toward school, fewer problem behaviors, and a greater feeling of belongingness than their large-school counterparts. In addition, they tended to be more involved in school activities and function with greater academic engagement.

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