Disorderly classrooms are chipping away at teaching time: study
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    Disorderly classrooms are chipping away at teaching time: study

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    In member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only 78% of a typical lesson is dedicated to teaching, according to an OECD study published on Wednesday.

    In the past 10 years, the time devoted to teaching rather than maintaining discipline, for example, has diminished in over half of OECD countries for which comparable data is available, notes the OECD’s 2018 Teachers and Learning International Survey (TALIS).  

    Every five years, the survey interviews teachers on their teaching practices and working conditions. For the main section of the 2018 edition, thousands of lower secondary teachers and principals were polled in 31 OECD countries and economies, including Belgium and the Flemish Community as a sub-national entity.

    On average, OECD teachers said they devoted 78% of their time, the equivalent of 47 minutes out of a one-hour class, to teaching and learning. The remainder of their time is spent on keeping order (13%) and administrative tasks (8%)

    The older and more experienced teachers are, the more time they spend teaching, the survey noted.

    In 12 of the 20 countries on which data has been compiled since 2008, the time really spent teaching, as perceived by the teachers themselves, has decreased.

    Comparable data is not available for the whole of Belgium, but the Flemish Community is among regions and countries where teaching time has decreased the most – by at least two minutes for every hour. The others are Bulgaria, Hungary and Turkey.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times