SCOPE Study–Teachers’ Time: Collaborating for Teaching, Learning, and Leading
Reports & Report Series
April 18, 2018
Areas of Focus:
“We wanted to take a look at schools that paid attention to time and understood that if teachers had time to learn with and from each other, it would benefit their children and it would benefit themselves as teachers.”
– Jon Snyder, Ed.D., Executive Director, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education
In the United States, the use of teacher time in schools is an unexamined “regularity”–rarely questioned or changed. However, compelling evidence shows that teachers are the most significant in-school factor affecting student learning and that the effects they have on student learning are cumulative and long lasting. If, indeed, teachers are what matter most, then how their time is organized within the school day should offer considerable potential to improve the quality of instruction and realize positive benefits for students.
"We looked at innovative schools to examine how these schools organized teacher time. As many teachers would say, there’s never enough time and teachers’ work is never done. However, what we’ve learned from these case studies is that schools can allocate their limited resources and make key programmatic and staffing decisions to organize teachers’ time and work in ways that support the ongoing learning and development of both the students they work with and the teachers and staff."
– Soung Bae, Ph.D., Senior Research and Policy Analyst, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education
This study examined four U.S. schools that organize and structure teacher time and work so that teachers are encouraged to collaborate with one another in their efforts to enrich teaching and learning:
Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, CA
International High School at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, NY
Pagosa Springs Elementary School (K-4th grade) in Pagosa Springs, CO
Santa Monica Alternative Schoolhouse (SMASH) (K-8th grade) in Santa Monica, CA
The study, Teachers’ Time: Collaborating for Learning, Teaching, and Leading, is designed to help both practitioners and policymakers understand the teaching and learning implications of structuring time differently in schools and provides detailed accounts of how time is organized within budget and schedule constraints. In addition, the study illustrates how these uses of time relate to a range of educational outcomes, from building more successful curriculum to supporting teacher learning and development to facilitating deeper, more meaningful learning opportunities for students. The case studies used interviews, observations, and document reviews to examine and describe:
How the schools reorganized teacher and student time within the school day;
What students and teachers did within the re-organized time;
The interaction between the re-organized use of teacher and student time; and
The enabling conditions for using the re-organized time well.
Despite school context and geographical differences, all four schools shared characteristics and nine relevant themes emerged:
Focus on student learning and development
Coherent, shared philosophy
Multiple roles for teachers
Participation in Networks
The report series for the study consists of four detailed reports analyzing the time management practices at the four schools we studied, a cross case report that summarizes research methodology and findings from the four U.S. schools, and a research brief that condenses our findings in a shorter format.
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