Optimising by minimising: interruptions and the erosion of teaching time
AbstractThe current and continuing international cycle of public school reforms, founded primarily on the premise that educator accountability will result in improved learning outcomes, places additional pressure on teachers and administrators to better facilitate student achievement. The essential challenge is to forge improved learning environments that provide opportunities for enhanced student growth. Unfortunately, many schools seem to remain mired in cultural norms and routine practices that appear to impede, rather than promote, the realisation of that goal. A study conducted in eight Louisiana (USA) school districts supports my earlier findings in Canadian schools and strongly suggests that continuing misuse of scheduled class time through regular encroachments from outside the parameters of the classroom serve to erode instructional time and minimise learning opportunities. Many teachers remain frustrated and indignant about their inability to better control the learning environment.