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More Teaching, Less Learning?

More Teaching, Less Learning?

by Dr. Rajinder Shriram Aurora -
Number of replies: 1

One of the main differences between the U.S. education system and the systems that fail to outperform it in student achievement is the amount of time teachers spend in the classroom in front of students versus the time spent in professional development activities. 

"Teaching Hours,” indicate time spent actually teaching within the classroom, and does not include time spent on lesson preparation or correcting exams paper and supervising. Teachers in the U.S. spend much more time teaching than do their counterparts in high-performing education systems. In these high-performing education systems, fewer hours in front of a classroom means more time for teachers to pursue professional learning opportunities throughout the working week, including lesson collaborating with other teachers and mentoring activities. All of this leads to a stronger, ever improving teaching force and higher student achievement overall.

Even a small amount of extra time for professional development can improve teaching. In British Columbia, teachers spend up to9 -  12 hours per week--around ten hours more than their other high-performing peers, but a full 4 hours more than the average U.S. teacher--in front of students and yet still participate in one of the top-performing professional learning systems in the world. There are two reasons for this: professional learning time is embedded in daily work life; and teachers have time throughout the school week to improve their teaching, rather than intermittent, piecemeal opportunities like those seen in the "workshop model” in the U.S.