So I received the first edition of Teacher Magazine in my inbox today and dutifully scanned through some of the articles (having featured in an article I figured it’s only fair). It was here that I came across a rather unfortunate infographic…
The “Did you know?” infographic is a summary of the results of a study undertaken by the Grattan Institute on Making time for great teaching (the link to the report on Grattan website is dead but it can be downloaded from here). The unfortunate part is the underpinning messages that I was gleaning from what was represented.
- Reduce teacher involvement in extra-curricular activities
- Don’t waste time on subjects with small enrolments or non-core subjects
- One period a week on pastoral care is ‘too much time’
- 1 to 2 periods a week on PE is ‘too much time’
- 1 period a week on research skills is ‘too much time’
- Just get more money to fund teacher learning time
Of course the full report does go into detail on other elements such as the amount of time wasted supervising students in the schoolyard, detentions and exam supervisions… This isn’t even a complete list! ACER what messages did you think educators were going to extract from this?
On the plus side it suggests a program of professional learning taken from high performing education systems around the world that requires approximately 135 periods (112.5 hours) of professional learning throughout the year blending:
- Teacher mentoring and coaching
- Lesson and grade groups
- Research groups
- Teacher appraisal and feedback
- Classroom observation and feedback
Not a bad list of suggestions but if you’re suggesting that being out in the schoolyard building relationships with students, supervising extra-curricular activities to support students engaging in their personal interests, or engaging in pastoral care activities to promote student health and wellbeing aren’t directly linked to quality “teaching and learning” then I must be doing it wrong…
Can someone tell me how to do it right?
4 thoughts on “An unfortunate infographic on Teacher time”
WoW I’m amazed & agree with you once again Jason.
Thanks Lyn, I know how much it pains you to agree with me 😀
When I taught in Canada, we didn’t do “yard duty” so teachers took activities and mingled in the very big cafeteria. That out of class interaction builds relationships and keeps us “real”. You can learn lots from the kids in the bus on the way to the swimming pool!
The rhetoric never ceases to amaze me when it comes to what people perceive as valuable in education. I appreciate there are significant differences in educational systems across the world and must assume that the original reports author has significant capacity to analyse and critique these systems in terms of their efficiencies around delivering core business. However I must question the authors background and experience when it comes to matters of student-teacher relationships and engagement, the findings and summaries appear to be written by someone deeply bedded in policy rather than practice.
If the purpose was to provoke? Job done. If it was designed to genuinely make suggestions on how to ‘make time for great teaching’ then I suggest the author re-evaluates the measures used in evaluating what ‘great teaching’ is.
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