Since this research will be aimed at measuring “extraordinary issues,” in other words, time taken away from formal instructional time, a framework is needed to effectively show the impact on the full day of instruction.
This table below is the result of a consensus among the four teachers as to how the students spend their seven hours at school. The bottom line of 220 minutes of formal instructional time is allocated to preparing the students to be ready to take the ISTEP exams, Indiana’s version of a standardized measurement instrument. The 60 minutes of out-of-classroom instruction (eg. art, music, computers, etc.) are not included for two reasons:
1. The topics are only obliquely related to the standardized tests
2. Serious misbehavior will immediately lead to the removal of the student from the classroom and the instructional time is minimally impacted
Table 5. How Students Spend Their Seven Hours at SchoolThis the the way the teachers choose to allocate the 7 hours that the students spend at school
|Total Time Students Are at School||420||100%|
|Class start up (morning, noon, after each recess)||45|
|Rest room breaks||20|
|Extraordinary issues (discipline/ repeated instructions, etc.)||? - to be determined|
|Leaving: Classroom formal instructional time||230||52%|
In one of the presentations we made, we were asked to show the amount of time, in a typical year that a student spends at school and in formal instruction.
Here is that data:
Table 6. Life Away From School - How Much Time Does a Student Spend at School?This table shows that the time available for the school system to mold a student's behavior, values, etc. is very limited.
|Total student time per year |
for all activities - 365 days
|Total student time at school||1260 hours||14%|
|Total student formal instructional time||660||8%|
Each figure, the 14% or the 8%, have different interpretations. Surely just being at school can have a positive impact on a student as long as there is order within the school. The 8% figure is where the regular teacher’s impact is the most important in terms of helping the student accumulate knowledge. In either case, the time at the school is only a very small proportion of a student’s year. Time at home, etc. is certainly the most important part of their life, not for knowledge accumulation, but for learning socialization skills and values.