"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Class Size and Learning Time

The latest report from the OECD, Education at a Glance, released on November 24, 2015, provides data regarding the state of education in various countries. One of the chapters in this report deals with class size and its relationship to learning. The report states, "larger classes are correlated with less time spent on actual teaching and learning and with more time spent on keeping order in the classroom... ...Specifically, one additional student added to an average size class is associated with a 0.5 percentage-point decrease in time spent on teaching and learning activities...."

The following is the figure that captures this finding:

Above copied from
OECD (2015), "Indicator D2 What is the Student-Teacher Ratio and How Big are Classes?", inOECD, Education at a Glance 2015: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2015-31-en
The Philippines is not included in the above study, but one can extrapolate where Philippine basic education currently stands. From a Rappler article by Jee Y. Geronimo published near the start of the current school year, the following class size can be used:



Extending the chart from OECD....


Add to this picture the widespread instances during which teachers are doing something else besides teaching to either augment their income or perform other assigned tasks, and the fact that instruction time has been cut short to accommodate multiple shifts, it is highly likely that only about half of the time inside classrooms is spent on teaching and learning.




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