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ERIC Number: ED202778
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Have You Seen Comenius Lately?
Freeland, Kent
This paper investigates the proper length of instruction in various curriculum areas. The 17th century educator, Johann Amos Comenius, believed that a teacher should be careful not to present too much for a child to learn. A review of the research shows that there are no clear and ironclad answers. Some studies have shown that large deficits in instruction time do lead to lower academic achievement. For example, an all day kindergarten program leads to higher academic achievement than a one half-day program. Other research indicates that added time produces no significant added achievement. One study involved similar courses in which one group was taught for 55 minutes or longer, and a second group for 45 minutes or less. When they took the Iowa Tests of Educational Development, students showed no significant achievement differences. However, some researchers have had mixed findings on increased instruction time. A study of sixth graders showed that 60-78 minute periods did not lead to higher reading achievement when compared to 40-50 minute periods. In the same study, however, 55-60 minute periods did show higher arithmetic achievement when compared to 35-45 minute periods. Also 40-50 minute periods showed higher language achievement when compared to 25-30 minute periods. Other researchers have reported that added instructional time does lead to increased achievement. For example, a California study called Beginning Teacher Evaluation Study has shown that the more time spent in reading or mathematics instruction, the more students learn of that subject. The paper's conclusions include the following. At the elementary level reading should occupy the largest period of instruction, followed by mathematics, and next language. For the intermediate grades, arithmetic class periods should be closer to 55-60 minutes in length than 35-45, reading classes should be closer to 60-78 minutes than 40-50 minutes, and language classes should be closer to 40-50 minutes than 25-30 minutes. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A