It’s been a while since I last posted – so I’m back.
In one of my professional roles I visit teachers in training while on placements in schools. While not exclusively a secondary school “thing” I see lesson times getting longer (76 minutes is the longest seen in 2022) and trainee teachers getting more and more feedback about behaviour management. The longer lesson times go across all sectors (Independent, Catholic and State).
So my wonderings include:
- What evidence exists that the longer lesson time is more effective for student learning?
- Is longer lesson times really about minimising student travel time via school lockers between classes?
- What happens to student retention during this longer lesson time?
- Is behaviour management more an outcome of “things” associated with long lesson times?
I’ve reflected on the work of de sousa and others and I would pose that for trainee teachers, at least, that the longer lesson times are in fact undermining their effectiveness as teachers. I’d suggest that trainee teachers for the most part don’t have the benefits of “closer” relationships with students, are sometimes not informed about individual student needs and in my point often replicate the commonly used lesson framework of I teach, you do the task model. So for 76 minutes it means I teach for 30+ minutes and students do a task for 36 minutes.
Hold on, I hear a few screaming that’s not a fair picture and for some I would agree because you do different things and use different models of teaching during the 76 minutes AND I’m happy to discuss that further.
BUT in most cases I observe (55+ student teachers in 2022) I hear feedback that they need to strengthen their behaviour management strategies. Yes trainee teachers do need strategies for this but I would suggest they “talk” for too long – don’t use interactive protocols – aren’t seeking student feedback often enough – their wait time is too short and try and teach way too much content.
So, and I’m happy to continue this conversation, I’d suggest trainee teachers need feedback on reducing their talk time – content delivery – transition time and student feedback so that behaviour management doesn’t become the main improvement goal.