Teacher competence and school efficiency.

  Whether a teacher uses traditional or more current methods of instruction, efficient use of school time has a significant impact on student learning. Teachers’ presence in the classroom represents the starting point. Many teachers face transportation and housing obstacles that hinder them from getting to school on time and staying until school hours are … Continue reading “Teacher competence and school efficiency.”

 

Whether a teacher uses traditional or more current methods of instruction, efficient use of school time has a significant impact on student learning. Teachers’ presence in the classroom represents the starting point. Many teachers face transportation and housing obstacles that hinder them from getting to school on time and staying until school hours are over. Many teachers must hold second jobs, which may detract from the time and energy they expend in the classroom. Teachers may miss school altogether. A study in China, Guinea, India and Mexico found that nearly half the teachers interviewed reported being absent at some point during the previous month (Carron & Chau, 1996), requiring other teachers to compensate for them or leaving students without instruction for the day. Next, when teachers are present, learning occurs when teachers engage students in instructional activities, rather than attending to administrative or other non-instructional processes (Fuller, et al., 1999). As mentioned above, the opportunity to learn and the time on task have been shown in many international studies to be critical for educational quality. Finally, some schools that have been able to organize their schedules according to children’s work and family obligations have seen greater success in student persistence and achievement. In Ethiopia, for example, schools that began and ended the day earlier than usual and that scheduled breaks during harvest times found that educational quality improved. “The quality of a school and the quality of teaching of the individual teacher is [sic] higher in schools that are able (and willing) to make more efficient use of the available time of its teachers and its pupils” (Verwimp, 1999).

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