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Teachers time-on task: Quantity and nature of tasks Deepa Sankar SASHD, The World Bank New Delhi.

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Presentation on theme: "Teachers time-on task: Quantity and nature of tasks Deepa Sankar SASHD, The World Bank New Delhi."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teachers time-on task: Quantity and nature of tasks Deepa Sankar SASHD, The World Bank New Delhi

2 Organization Context Research Questions Methodology and sample Results Time –on- Task and correlates Allocated time (School Calendar) to Teachers Physical presence time in school Teachers Physical Presence time to Classroom time Instructional time and nature of tasks Learning achievement correlates Conclusions

3 Acknowledgements Classroom snapshot tool and training Jane Stallings Tool Adaptation and concurrent technical support Technical Advisory Committee DFID State Field study Teams DIVYA DISHA (AP) SARED (UP) Yadharth (MP) New Concepts (Delhi) Research Team: Venita Kaul Deepa Sankar

4 Context SSA goals & MDG related to education : Universal primary stage completion by 2010/2015 Progress in elementary education; significant improvements in access and participation Increasing attention now towards quality issues in SSA. Provision for More teachers (PTR) Teaching Learning Materials (TLM) Teacher Training Teacher attendance Classroom processes and assessment

5 SSA : Quality Monitoring initiatives Quality Monitoring Tools (NCERT) Studies examining teacher and student attendance and factors affecting learning achievement (MHRD) Time-on-Task study in 5 states (MHRD) Present study Time-on-Task of teachers in 3 states (World Bank with MHRD concurrence)

6 Research Questions International studies on teacher absenteeism have highlighted significant concerns, leading to focus on ensuring teacher presence The assumption informing this study Mere teacher presence will not improve outcomes unless quantity and quality of interaction time with students improves This study, therefore ventures beyond teacher attendance to explore evidence for the following questions: What do we know about teacher presence time in school? What causes the gap between academic calendar and teacher presence in school? How is teacher time distributed when she is in school? What is the distribution of classroom time among different tasks? What is the impact of that on students learning time? How does it correlate with students learning outcomes?

7 Sample Sub-sample of government schools drawn randomly from the larger sample used for MHRD study on Teacher attendance & private schools (20% of the no of govt schools) AP Average state; but high on teacher absenteeism (World Bank 2002) MP Traditionally laggard; but low teacher absenteeism UP Traditionally laggard; but high on teacher absenteeism Selection of states and sample focused on understanding issues, and not to develop average statistics for the country/states

8 Design Time – on - Task Teachers interviews Characteristics Feedback on training Perceptions on how children learn Difficulties experienced FGDs with students & Community Perception of TOT involvement in monitoring Student Profile Household socio-economic characteristics Opportunity to learn at home Classroom Observations on TOT & nature of activities Mono-grade / multi-grade Regular / para teacher Public / private School Schedule School characteristics Learning achievement test Grade IV 5040 classrooms; snapshots 4800 students in Grade IV 360 schools 920 teachers

9 Definitions of TOT Allocated time: No. of days school should function as per school calendar. Available time: Time/days schools actually run within academic year. Teachers Physical presence time: Balance time within school available time, after deducting stipulated leaves, Days worked for other departments training days, Meetings within education department away from school Teachers Academic time in School: Teachers physical presence time in school after deducting Administrative work Other non-academic work Classroom Time- on-Task - Balance time

10 Classroom observations Proportion of teachers and students time off-task and on-task Proportion of time-on-task by: Nature of activity Materials used Students involved (whole class, large/small group & individual) Multi-grade / mono-grade Subjects Teacher characteristics (para/ regular)

11 International evidences Percentage of students TOT range from 38% to 96% (Smyth, 1985; Anderson, Ryan and Shapiro, 1989, Perie, Baker and Bobbitt 1997; Roth et al 2003). Average instructional time in classrooms in Brazil - 72%, Ghana, 70%, Morocco 82% and Tunisia 86% (Abazi, 2006). Academic learning time - two-thirds of total engaged time in US classrooms (Fisher et al., 1978) Substantial time lost in writing lessons and problems on the board, because students lacked text books in Gambia and Burkina Faso. (Dia, 2003).

12 Evidences on TOT and learning outcome linkages 88 percent of studies showed positive influence of time on learning (Walberg and Fredrick 1991) Teaching time by itself a poor predictor of student achievement; effective use of time a more accurate predictor (Reimers 1993). Improved use of time devoted to learning, by facilitating more pupil- oriented teacher behavior significant impact on learning processes & in higher achievement levels ((Tan, Lane and Coustère 1997 in Philippines) (Verwimp 1999; Ethiopia) School-based instructional time to be especially significant for poor children, whose out-of-school learning time was limited (Suryadi, Green and Windman (1981) Fuller and Clarke (1994) instructional time is one of three major areas (in addition to teacher quality and textbook availability) in which consistent achievement effects obtain.


14 What do we know about teacher presence time in school? Findings Prescribed days : 220 days On average schools reported 229 Calendar Days From 229, 37 days were lost only 192 days or less were spent on academic activities in school

15 What do we know about teacher presence time in school?

16 What causes the gap between academic calendar and teacher presence in school? Allocated Time (School calendar) School Functioning days (Available Time) Teacher on Any duty Teacher on education- depts work Teachers physical presence time in school Teacher In classrooms School specific holidays Teachers personal leave Teacher deputed to other depts work Teacher in Education related work outside school (training, meeting etc) Teacher in non-academic work At school (administrative, other)

17 What causes the gap between academic calendar and teacher presence in school?

18 Instructional days leakage: Examples

19 Within teacher presence time in school, how is time distributed? Findings Classroom teaching - 56% Time for quality inputs only 22% Remedial teaching only 7% Planning 7% Correction & prep of tests 8%

20 Findings from Classroom observation

21 CategoryDefinition CATEGORY 1 student-centric; higher order learning tasks CATEGORY 2 teacher – centric/didactic; traditional methods CATEGORY 3rote learning methods Organize classroom activities Disciplining and classroom management OFF TASKNo teaching learning activity Categorization of Activities in classrooms

22 What is the distribution of teachers time among different tasks? Teacher teaching - 80% of the classroom time Teacher on student centric / higher order tasks – 24% of the time Traditional teaching 56% 18% classrooms – all teaching time was teacher centric or rote


24 Teacher time in multi-grade situation In mono-grade situation, teachers is able to focus mostly on the assigned grade. In a multi-grade situation, 65% of teacher time focused on any one class.


26 Students Time on task

27 Teachers TOT & Student attendance & involvement


29 What happens in Multi-grade situation? Findings: 66% time students in classes other than in the focus class are left on their own. Left on their own, 60% off task and 40% only are on task. This points to a serious concern

30 TOT by teacher characteristics

31 Learning Outcomes

32 Approaches to study role of Time on task on learning outcomes Studies of instructional time are mainly related to two conceptual frameworks: The opportunity to learn approach School- based process variables like instructional time, which frame and delimit pupils learning opportunities, are key factors in determining pupil achievement The school effectiveness approach examine how teachers actually manage instructional time in the classroom. They highlight how student achievements increase in learning-rich environments in which time-on-task activities predominate and decline in less motivating and ineffective learning- environments

33 TOT & nature of tasks: Association with learning?? Math & Language in Grade IV NCERT tools + items from TIMSS for Math Number of children tested 4800


35 Conceptual model Learning Achievement Student factors Gender Social group SES Repetition Parental Education Home help Level 1: Student level School factors Location Management Infrastructure PTR Trained teachers type of teacher Classroom factors Multi/ mono-grade Student attendance Student participation Teachers time on Student centric tasks Level 2: School level

36 Hierarchical Linear Modeling

37 Snakes (-) and Ladders (+) in Learning process OverallAPMPUP Student level Age ~ Age2 ~ Students belonging to SC/ST Students belonging to OBC Boy student Parental education -father ++ Parental education -mother + Household Asset level (Index) Student has repeated grades --- Household conducive environment & support (space, attention, tuition, time) +++ Student has all text books (either provided by school or by parents) ~ Number of sibling (number of children family need to take care off) indicates highly significant positive (ladder) variables (p<.01); ++ indicates significant positive variables (<.05); + indicate somewhat significant positive variables. Similarly, indicates highly significant negative (snake) variables (p<.01); - indicates negative (snakes) significant variables (p<.10); ~ shows no effects in any regression

38 Snakes (-) and Ladders (+) in Learning process OverallAPMPUP School level School management (private) Rural location - School Infrastructure Teaching Learning Materials (in school) ~+ Pupil – Teacher Ratio - Primary only schools (not Upper pry) ~ Multi-grade classrooms - Teachers with Bachelors degree Professionally qualified teacher Male teacher Teacher type (regular; not para teacher) ~- Average student attendance rate Class facilities ~ Teachers Lenient, but Positive Behavior & conduct -+ Proportionately more students engaged in more learning time with teachers ++ More of teachers Teaching time on Category I (student centric) learning activities ++ +

39 Findings – home factors Socio-economic background of the students family and student characteristics significantly related with learning as children from diverse backgrounds attending school now. Household environment conducive to learning positively related to learning outcomes Support at home provides more opportunities to learn Parental education significant ; First generation learner at disadvantage

40 Findings- School factors School management and location matters Better school infrastructure is positively related to learning Higher PTR has negative effects Professional training of teachers, not academic qualifications positively correlated with better learning outcomes

41 Major findings.. – Classroom Student attendance & classroom participation levels have significant effects Quality of instructional time, in terms of Category I tasks (student centric learning activities) more significantly related to learning outcomes as compared to just quantum of time. Multi-grade teaching (as practised) negatively related to learning outcomes. Diversity and deprivation due to home factors need to be addressed in classrooms.

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